A more senior and experienced look to the Rovers bench was welcomed by Tony Mowbray in the win at Millwall.

The manager was able to make six changes to the starting line-up and then turn to Ryan Nyambe, Joe Rothwell, Harvey Elliott, Bradley Johnson and Corry Evans from the bench, with more experience in Stewart Downing, Elliott Bennett and Lewis Travis going unused.

That was owing to the returns from injury of Joe Rankin-Costello and Sam Gallagher who were both recalled after time on the sidelines, while Johnson was back in the squad after missing the last eight games.

A freshness to the starting line-up came also with just a third league start for John Buckley and a first since November for Tyrhys Dolan who led the line in the absence of top scorer Adam Armstrong.

And Mowbray said: “When I look behind me sometimes, I felt there were some tiring legs, and there were some pretty experienced footballers there and it just gives you that comfort blanket that you can put some experienced legs on.

“It helps the team, it gives the team confidence.

“To be able to put Rothwell and Elliott on when they (Millwall) are looking to push on to try and get an equaliser, it’s what any manager would want.

“They’ll be better for the game-time, and players like Ryan will be better for the rest with Rankin-Costello back.

“His pass for Dack’s opening goal, everyone has their own qualities. Ryan’s are his pace and power and his running, but whether he’d have seen the pass that Rankin-Costello did is another thing.

“I have to try and pick the games for the different types of footballers to try and help the team win.”

Taylor Harwood-Bellis continued alongside Darragh Lenihan at the heart of the Rovers defence, with Jarrad Branthwaite not involved at The Den because of an illness.

The pair helped Rovers to a 10th clean sheet of the season, and the first since their last victory against Luton Town.

Harwood-Bellis made a late block to preserve the clean sheet, and celebrated like he had scored.

That summed up Rovers’ determination not to concede, and Mowbray added: “I said that to the bench when he did it, that’s what it’s all about,”

“I tend to tell stories to my team, I’m trying to get across to them what football means and how it equates to life.

“I think when you see defenders celebrating a block or a clearance like a goal, that’s what it should be.

“I don’t like going back to when I was a player, but 30 years that’s what I would do, I’d celebrate like a goal if you cleared one off the line or made a block late on.

“It is a goal-saving opportunity and that might have made for a nervy few minutes without it.”