Tony Mowbray says there can be no excuses about Rovers’ season which has fallen “way short” of their expectations.

No team in the division has collected fewer points than Rovers in the 17 games since their unbeaten January looked to have moved them into play-off contention.

That was the aim of Mowbray at the start of the season, but bar an exciting start to the season, and unbeaten months in November and January, they have struggled to find any consistency to their results.

Mowbray has bemoaned injuries, the schedule and the Ewood Park pitch at stages within the campaign, but says there can be no excuses as to why they find themselves 17th in the standings with three games to go.

They are 10 points behind where they found themselves at the same stage last season, despite the increased expectation, ahead of the visit of Huddersfield Town, having only won two of their previous 17 fixtures.

“Let’s be honest, from right early on in pre-season I was trying to drive an ambition of trying to get in the play-offs this season, we’ve obviously fallen way short of that,” Mowbray said.

“Everybody can have an opinion, there are no excuses. There has been excuses throughout the season, but they come and they go.

“I can’t now sit and moan about injuries, about pitches, about refereeing, we are where we are and after 43 games this is where we are, towards the bottom end of the table.

“No excuses, I do feel when I look at it, from speaking to the analysts on how we’re doing goals for and against, we’re better with goals against but short on goals for compared to last season.

“We’re 10 points down on last season. Could we have easily made up 10 points in the games we’ve played? Undoubtedly for me.

“If you’d have turned those 1-0 defeats into 1-0 wins, the margins have been quite small, but we’re still a far way away from being in that top six, regardless of how many points more we feel we should have had.

“It feels like a work in progress, like trying to build a team, so when you talk about loans, I’d rather have players that are our own who you can grow and develop.”

As for a reason behind their underachievement, Mowbray believes his players have found the intensity of the condensed schedule hard to adapt to, feeling his side were jaded in the midweek defeat to Sheffield Wednesday.

He has stopped short of criticising his players, and feels bar the three teams relegated from the Premier League last season being up near the top of the standings, there are several teams who haven’t had the season many would expect.

“I think the team have found the programme difficult, but so have a lot of teams,” Mowbray added.

“This is practically a whole year they’ve been going with three games a week.

“I think when you look at the middle of the table, clubs like Nottingham Forest, Derby County are right down the bottom, I don’t think there’s much sense to the league, other than the teams that you’d expect to be at the top, bar Barnsley, are at the top.

“I wouldn’t sit here and criticise my team.

“I might do in the dressing room at half-time or full-time, but I think they’re a brilliant set of lads, they work their socks off, they want to get better, we all give it the best we can and we’ll continue to do that for the next three games.

“Then let’s see what the summer brings for all of us.”