Whether it be getting changed in concourses, clambering over advertising boards to get onto the pitch, or substitutes sat in the stands, things have been a little different away from home for Rovers.

Sat among the nine substitutes at Deepdale was Tony Mowbray, the Rovers boss quite literally taking a backseat, as assistant Mark Venus patrolled the touchline.

Mowbray had done similar, albeit with a closer vantage point, for the weekend game at Luton Town, though there his voice was much more prominent.

That could have been owing to the fact that against North End everything that could have gone right, pretty much did, Rovers setting out their stall from the first minute and not relenting until the final whistle was blown.

They ran out comfortable winners, and Mowbray’s message in the pre-match meeting of stamping their authority on the game was carried out by all 16 players who got on the pitch.

Mowbray’s decision to watch from behind the dugout however was less to do about his own side, and more to do with the officials.

Rovers were on the wrong end of several decisions at Luton Town, and Mowbray has been heard throughout the season voicing his displeasure towards the man in the middle.

He’s treaded a little more carefully in his post-match interviews, instead focusing more on the general standard of officiating across the division, rather than identifying individual issues.

“This particular game I wanted to take my concentration away from fourth officials and referees, sometimes you can get sidetracked,” Mowbray told the Lancashire Telegraph of his positioning at Deepdale.

“I need to be focused on the football, but it’s really frustrating the level and standard (of officiating) has been way below where I would expect it to be. Whether it’s because they’re playing too many matches or doing too many games I don’t know.

“I just wanted to focus on my team.

“We’d spoken about how we wanted to play, we had specific stuff that we’d done and I just took a higher position to watch it.

“I didn’t get sidetracked by the fourth official and another poor decision or whatever it might be.

“I just focused on the football match and if there’s an opportunity I’d like to do that.

“I didn’t sit in the dugout at Luton, yet it’s really hard not to ask why was a decision made, ‘why didn’t he set that?’, ‘surely that’s not correct?’

“But the game is going on. If you detach yourself from it then you can focus more on the football and have a clearer picture of it.”

The shouts of both managers and players has become more evident in the behind closed doors matches, with Lewis Holtby in particular a driving force in the team with both his left foot, and his voice.

Rovers have worked to build an identity, and their style across all 13 games this season has been fairly consistent, and that repetition in training leaves Mowbray safe in the knowledge that the players know what is being asked of him.

That could lead to him taking more of a backseat in matches to come, but it’s not something he sees being a long-term option, not least when supporters do return.

“If I get an opportunity to do it I will, particularly when there’s no fans, when there are there it would become more difficult,” Mowbray explained.

“I wouldn’t want to be sitting in the stand with supporters around, but at this moment there’s a moment to take a step back a little back from the touchline intensity, particularly as we  are doing a lot of work with the team and there becomes a time when the players take a responsibility on the grass and the senior players’ voices become more important than the manager’s on the sidelines.

“The work has been done, the questions have been asked, the positional play around transition has been gone through, shown on video and worked on while on the grass.

“Everyone should know their jobs so I don’t need to waste energy shouting at them, it should come internally from them as a group and I think it’s a positive that we can find a performance like that from the team because they drive each other.

“They all know each other’s jobs and they have to make it work and it did pretty well on Tuesday.”