Rovers have fallen short of their points target at the halfway stage, according to Tony Mowbray, who is hoping to put injuries and Covid-absences behind them in the second half of the season.

Victory over Birmingham City was their ninth of the season and leaves Rovers 11th in the table with 32 points from 23 matches.

That is five shy of the top six, and three fewer than at the same stage last year, but Mowbray has been encouraged by the performances and the returns to injury of key performers Bradley Dack and Lewis Travis.

Mowbray feels performances have deserved more points, believing even in defeat they have performed better than they did in the victory at Birmingham.

He said: “We’ve just hit the halfway mark in the league campaign, so there’s a long way to go, but I think we’re below where we should be points-wise and I think there have been a lot of games where we’ve been very good and come away with nothing.”

Rovers take a break from league action this weekend as they host Doncaster in the FA Cup.

The Birmingham fixture was their 12th league game in the space of 42 days, but just one midweek game this month, and a break for the cup, offers a little respite to Mowbray and his squad.

The condensed nature of the schedule has contributed to a growing injury list for Rovers who welcomed back two men in Dack and Travis in recent weeks, with Elliott Bennett also nearing a return.

And the manager added: “It’s very difficult to earn points in this league as every team is different and the games are every three days.

“It’s been very tough, physically, for the players especially given the way we’ve been asking them to play since the start of the season. It’s been a physical challenge for this team and on top of the injuries and all the Covid issues we’ve got, it’s been really difficult to get our genuine first-team footballers to play all at the same time, because they’ve been unavailable, so it’s been a really difficult period for us.”