Jarrad Branthwaite made a solid start to his Rovers career – with Tony Mowbray likening the Everton loanee to Scott Wharton in his approach.

Wharton is currently sidelined by an Achilles injury, and with Daniel Ayala and Derrick Williams also out injured, Rovers turned to 18-year-old Branthwiate to strengthen their defensive options.

The teenager was in for his first start just two days after signing on loan until the end of the season, becoming Darragh Lenihan’s fifth different central defensive partner this season.

With Rovers without both Wharton and Williams, two left-sided defenders, Mowbray felt it was important to have someone able to cover that side of the pitch and feels Branthwaite fills that bill.

And while the boss was disappointed with the nature of the Stoke City goal, as Nick Powell headed home from a set play, he was pleased with the performance of his new signing.

“Jarrad was very good. I think he keeps things simple and just does his job, which is remarkable considering he’s 18,” he told the club website.

“Sometimes, as an 18-year old, it’s pretty hard to come up against experienced grown men who have been around a long time, playing at the highest level and know how to use their bodies against you.

“Generally, he did exceptionally well. His distribution was good, he competed very well, and he looked steady.

“He offers us a balance, similar to that of Scott Wharton. Scott is of a similar ilk, in that he ‘does what it says on the tin.’ He doesn’t try to do anything overdramatic and I think Jarrad, alongside Darragh Lenihan, will do fine for us.

“He just needs to concentrate on doing his job, feeding the full-backs, feeding the midfielders, turning it around for Armstrong when it’s suitable to go over the top, win some headers and put himself in good positions. Overall, I thought he did a fine job.”