Four talking points from Rovers' home win over Millwall.


Tony Mowbray was honest in his assessment of his team in that they looked a little off the pace until the triple substitution.

Joe Rothwell’s exclusion from the side was a surprise, though something we’ll have to get used to, as the fitness of key players will have to be managed.

Rovers have put together a strong squad in a bid to navigate their way through the fixture list, but Mowbray hasn’t been afforded the luxury to change too much given the injury situation.

Potentially losing Ben Brereton for a period of time means that will be another enforced change, ending his run of being the only ever-present in the side.

Rovers have now used 28 players already, the most in the division, and have now picked up 13 injuries in 16 games, such are the problems they have faced.

To their credit, despite those things being against them, they summoned up the energy to find a 90th minute winner, and then dig in through some nervy final moments as Millwall threw everything at them.



A back three appears to be on trend for Championship managers this season. It’s a system that Rovers themselves have talked about using, but have been almost exclusively 4-3-3 in their shape.

Of the five games they have lost, three of the sides (Bournemouth, Watford and Swansea) have all gone with a back three, while Barnsley and Millwall, who have operated with similar systems, posed them real problems, despite coming away with victories in both.

Rovers have tended to struggle against teams who play with two strikers, occupying both centre halves, not allowing them the chance to play out from the back with ease.

Millwall had the better of the midfield battle here, and while Rovers have the pace to worry any team in the division on transition, they have been unable at home to move the ball quickly enough, or pick the right options going forward, to make the most of those as several good breaks came to nothing.

Mowbray recognises Rovers’ need for more flexibility, and the nearing return of Bradley Dack could see them mix up their formations more regularly than we’ve seen so far.



Want to know how unpredictable the Championship is, just look at the table.



After 12 games, Rovers were seven points off the play-off spots and nine behind leaders Norwich City. Fast forward to the end of the 15th round of matches and that gap is now just two to sixth place and four to top spot. Rovers are still ninth however, and are one of 10 teams bunched together and separated by just four points.

It does feel though that the league is starting to take shape with the three recently-relegated teams in Norwich, Bournemouth and Watford occupying the top three spots and usual top six contenders Bristol City, Swansea and Brentford firmly in the mix.

Four teams are locked on 27 points, a tally Rovers will hope to be on come Saturday evening when they travel to a Brentford side who themselves are in good form, unbeaten in eight games.

That is the start of a tough run of fixtures for Rovers who then travel to Bristol City and host Norwich City.

Only once this season (Preston) have Rovers beaten a side above them in the table before the game started, and they are yet to beat any of the teams currently in the top half. They will get three chances to change that over the coming week.



The last time Rovers won three consecutive Championship games came almost a year ago, when between November 23 and December 27 they beat Barnsley, Brentford, Stoke City and Derby County. It also extended their run this season of scoring first and winning to seven games.

Their current six match unbeaten run beats the five they managed in February of this year, their longest since promotion standing at eight, that that sequence ended by defeat to Huddersfield Town on December 29 2019.

There was a 50th goal for the club from Adam Armstrong, the fifth player in the 21st century to reach that milestone and 34th in Rovers’ history to achieve that feat.



Harvey Elliott’s 25th minute was the earliest since Armstrong’s third minute strike against Reading eight games ago, with No Championship team has scored more than Rovers’ 16 second half goals.