Rovers have another chance to put right their record against sides above them in the table – with Tony Mowbray not giving up hope of a top six finish.

Mowbray’s side have taken just one point from their matches against the current top six, while six of their nine defeats have come against sides currently above them in the standings.

Second-placed Swansea won the reverse fixture at the Liberty Stadium in October and arrive at Ewood having taken 13 points from the last 15 available, with Mowbray believing the Swans will prove to be a measure of where his side are at.

And Mowbray feels a victory at Ewood, where they have won just one of their last five, would represent a big confidence boost to take into upcoming matches.

“Everyone has been telling us that we don’t beat the teams above us so let’s wait and see,” Mowbray said of the Swansea test.

“The second half of the season we’re looking forward to it, we have to try and keep the majority of our squad fit if we can, get some stability in the defensive line and see where it takes us. A win and a draw in the last two, a win in this one and we can take some positivity moving forward.

“We’re starting to come to the nitty-gritty of the season now, the games will run out quite fast and you have to start picking up points if you want to be around where you want to be.”

The top five in the division are currently made up of the three sides relegated from the Premier League, last season’s beaten play-off finalists in Brentford and Swansea, the team they beat in the semi-finals.

Mowbray set his sights on the top six at the start of the season, and hasn’t changed his ambition for his side, despite currently sitting seven points off the play-off spots.

However, he feels his side are more than capable of putting together a run of form required to get them back in the mix, should availability improve.

“In the Championship you have some diverse clubs, the three relegated teams, the short period of time between the seasons, those sides might have had another six weeks to offload some high-earners and change their squad, but that wasn’t the case,” Mowbray said.

“I think some teams have some strong players in their squad who have got their heads around this league now and understood if they aren’t going to be sold they need to perform and bounce back to get their salaries back to Premier League levels.

“Added to them you’ve always got teams with huge ambition whose only goal is to make the top six. I tried to make that our goal and our ambition that we made that, I still think we’re there on the cusp of it, win two or three on the bounce and we’ll be right in the mix again.

“That’s not beyond us. It seems as though there’s lots of tight football matches, We have to find some consistency and I’ve said for weeks and weeks we haven’t had the consistency of selection because of injuries.

“Let’s hope that Jarrad can stay fit and play alongside Lenihan and we can find some stability and the strikers at the other end of the pitch can start firing and we can get back to winning ways.”