Rovers boss Tony Mowbray insists Football League referees need a find “a middle ground” following his side’s 2-1 loss to West Brom.

Alex Mowatt and Matt Phillips were on target for the Baggies, while Ben Brereton Diaz pulled one back for the hosts following an error by Sam Johnstone.

Mowbray felt Rovers should have had a penalty in the first half when the Chilean international went down under contact in the box.

“I think the officials generally in football today – after the Euros and the VAR issues – they are struggling to find a middle ground,” said the Blackburn boss.

“In my eyes it was a penalty. Last year, it would have been a hundred percent, guaranteed penalty – (Brereton Diaz) is barged off the ball.

“This year, they have almost got a licence to be a bit more lenient. They will find a middle ground at some point in the season.”

Joe Rothwell has impressed for Rovers in the early stages of the new season, and Mowbray believes the midfielder has a big future ahead of him.

He insists Rothwell has the talent to follow in the footsteps of Adam Armstrong, who joined Premier League Southampton in a £15 million move.

“It’s really interesting with Joe, he’s a super talent,” added Mowbray. “I’m just trying to get him to be coveted by the Premier League because his talent is Premier League.

“But if he doesn’t have the work ethic and brain that anticipates and reads situations then he won’t get there on talent alone.

“I’ve spoken about young players in the Premier League earning money that we can only dream of and what I’m saying is, ‘why can’t Joe Rothwell go and earn that and do what Adam Armstrong has just done?’

“But he has to grasp it and all the coaching staff are trying to get him to understand that football isn’t just about the ball being at his feet and beating people - it’s about anticipation, playing on transition.

“He’s a Premier League footballer but he needs to understand the other side of the game. And when I speak to Premier League managers about some of our players, they want to see that side of the game from them and I try and drive that into Joe."