Rovers switched to a back three for the first time this season at Barnsley – and Tony Mowbray said it was down to the opposition, rather than a long-term plan.

Mowbray used the system to good effect in his opening 15 games in charge, but has almost exclusively gone with a back four since.

The lack of centre halves available at the same time has restricted his ability to do that this season, but having recruited Taylor Harwood-Bellis and Jarrad Branthwaite in January, Mowbray made the switch at Oakwell.

That also saw a first start of the season for Elliott Bennett, used as a right wing back with Ryan Nyambe not involved.

It brought about a more direct style, one Mowbray felt worked well in the first half, only for defensive mistakes in the second half to prove costly.

Asked about the prospect of going with it again, Mowbray said: "We used it because we were playing Barnsley. We were just trying to nullify what they do, and they're very good at it.

"We felt it at home where their wing-backs press very high, their front free press very high and they press everyone behind.

“We just tried to nullify them and I thought we could score with an Armstrong or a Gallagher breakaway, like Armstrong's goal.

"I felt we threatened two or three times to do that in the first-half but it didn't quite fall for us. But I thought they put the game-plan into action fairly well for the majority of the game but we fell down on the basics.”

As well as a back three, Rovers also went with two central strikers in Sam Gallagher and Adam Armstrong. They looked to go from back to front where possible, but struggled to create clear-cut openings, Armstrong’s goal coming deep into injury time, a well taken finish after being freed by substitute Harvey Elliott.

But Mowbray felt switching off at the back was what proved costly for Rovers in south Yorkshire.

Speaking to the club website, Mowbray added: “We came with a game-plan of wanting to turn them round, with Armstrong and Gallagher at the top of the pitch.

“I thought we looked the most threatening team, we didn’t have clear-cut chances, but they were more half-chances that could have been spilled into our path on the rebound, or could have been a goal if we played the right final pass.

“It wasn’t to be, and we’re left frustrated in a game where we’ve played the type of football we didn’t want to play, yet we competed well throughout the majority of the game, but were let down by failing to do the basics.”