A bid to get around Barnsley’s intense pressing game was the reason for Rovers’ change in approach, Tony Mowbray explained.

Rovers abandoned their preferred possession-based style by looking to go more direct, opting to go with both Adam Armstrong and Sam Gallagher as central strikers.

Mowbray also switched to a back three, as Manchester City loanee Taylor Harwood-Bellis came in for his first start and Elliott Bennett returning to the side as a wing back.

There was a lack of quality throughout from both sides, Carlton Morris eventually making the difference for the hosts off the bench with a goal 18 minutes from time, before setting up a second for Alex Mowatt in the dying seconds of normal time.

Adam Armstrong pulled one back in injury time, but that proved to be a consolation, as Rovers lost for the third game running.

Asked about the change in approach, Mowbray told the Lancashire Telegraph: “You have to play the team you’re playing against and as I said, Barnsley are very good at pressing from the front, the statistics show that.

“If you try and play out against Barnsley then you’ll generally be in trouble.

“I sat and watched some games this week, Swansea one of the best possession teams in the league had only 42 per cent against them because they just booted it off the front.

“I think you try and nullify Barnsley’s strengths and that’s why you get a game like you did, not a lot of quality, not a lot of football, but two teams trying to do to each other what the other wants to do to them.

“You have to win in games like that and we didn’t.”

Barnsley’s main efforts at goal came from distance in the first half, Conor Chaplin testing Thomas Kaminski with a dipping volley, while Romal Palmer shot just wide from the edge of the box.

Rovers’ sole effort on target in the first half came from a deep Stewart Downing cross headed straight at goalkeeper Brad Collins by Darragh Lenihan from a tight angle.

Rather than play through midfield, Rovers opted instead to go from back to front, in a bid to exploit the space behind the Barnsley defence in what were difficult conditions.

“It was probably the game we expected, a lot of long balls, they’re a very direct team, play out of possession football, they press extremely well from the front and the stats would suggest they’re the best at the way they press with the front three,” Mowbray said when asked for his verdict.

“I think it was the game we expected, I thought we fought really well as a team but fell down through some basics, an inability to deal with their directness.

“We lost a header and the boy ran through, didn’t deal with a throw in for the first goal, it was a game that it was a good one supporters missed, it wasn’t a spectacle, it’s not how I like to play football but I thought the team fought like we had to.

“But we lost, and it was a frustrating night.”