Tony Mowbray called out his side’s ‘soft underbelly’ in the wake of the defeat at Huddersfield Town in December, comments he said were driven by emotion and expectation.

Two goals from centre half Naby Sarr, including one moments after Rovers looked to have rescued a point through Sam Gallagher’s equaliser, consigned them to defeat at the John Smith’s Stadium in their final match of 2020.

At the time Rovers were hovering around mid-table, short of Mowbray’s expectation of finishing in the top six, hopes that were boosted by an unbeaten January.

However, they now host the Terriers sitting 17th in the standings and with just 50 points to their name.

Asked whether his side had shown enough fight in the second half of the season, Mowbray said he wouldn’t call out his players publicly, and put that down to emotion.

“A lot of that is driven by expectation and I think around that time our expectation was to push for the play-offs and we believed that we could,” he said.

“I expected to go to Huddersfield and win and really sloppy goals, Naby Sarr scored them both, those sort of comments are driven by emotion some time.

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

Huddersfield have had a season of transition under new boss Carlos Corberan and like Rovers have found wins, and goals, hard to come by.

They have mirrored Rovers in going for a possession-based style, and despite abandoning that in the midweek defeat to Barnsley, Mowbray expects them to return to type for tomorrow's game.

And because of that, he’s expecting a good game on an improved Ewood Park surface.

“It depends what Huddersfield turn up. They lost 7-0 to Norwich quite recently, yet when I watch their clips they’re very, very competitive,” he explained.

“I think when you look at their individuals they have a lot of space, breakaway space, (Lewis) O’Brien is a top player, (Juninho) Bacuna is a top player, they can hurt you on transition, they beat Nottingham Forest 2-0 away in their last away match.

“The home game showed that they’re a pretty well coached team, they have a pattern of play, yet like a lot of teams against Barnsley they went off script and knocked everything long, similar to what we did, because Barnsley are so in your face and direct and very good at what they do.

“That goes against the grain for them and I would anticipate they will look to come and play against us and it’s a game we should look forward to.

“They’re a decent football team and I’m anticipating a decent football match between two teams who like to try and play and the surface is getting better so I think it’ll be a decent game.”