Tony Mowbray felt it was a collective first half failing from Rovers and questioned why it took until half time to raise their level of performance in the defeat at Blackpool.

Rovers were one goal down inside four minutes, and by the 24th minute faced an uphill task as Blackpool grabbed a second through Jerry Yates.

Second best in the first half across the pitch, Rovers did rally after the break and got back into the game through Ben Brereton’s 10th goal of the season five minutes after the re-start.

They could argue they deserved a share of the spoils as they pressed hard for an equaliser, but Blackpool, hit by three injuries across the game, held out for the three points.

“Collectively we didn’t compete well enough first half and the frustration was that we talked a lot about how this game was going to be,” Mowbray said.

“Their (Blackpool's) mentality would have been as an underdog, rightly or wrongly, and that’s how I portrayed it to the team and how an underdog fights and scraps for every ball.

“There were too many turnovers, too many balls going towards our own goal than theirs, and we managed to turn that around second half and if anything that’s a slight on the team that they can lift it so much.

“Why it didn’t start like that from the first kick-off? I’m not sure.

“There was a lot of talk about how this game was going to pan out and how they had to be ready for it, but great credit to their players that they managed to get on top in the first 45 minutes.”

Brereton volleyed home a fine John Buckley cross, and Rovers did threaten an equaliser as Brereton was denied by a Chris Maxwell save, while Tayo Edun and Daniel Ayala both went close.

However, the Seasiders played with that intent and energy across the opening 45 minutes, and Mowbray said he had prepared his players for that, and was disappointed with the fact they were second best.

He added: “We prepared the team for what we expected, let’s give Blackpool some credit for the way they came out of the blocks.

“Were we second best in the first half? Undoubtedly. There was a frustration in the dressing room at half time.

“Because the team are young, and have been doing alright, these are harsh, but good, lessons that not every game is a nice game of football, there are days when you have to roll your sleeves and it becomes man on man.

“We talked at half time about winning your individual battles, not many of our players won them in the first half, so it was a game of two halves, probably, but we are really disappointed not to come away with anything from the second half and the fact they managed to turn it around.

“Credit to Blackpool, there was an amazing atmosphere in the stadium right from the first whistle and it’s amazing how the supporters are behind the team and you can see why they’re doing alright and a difficult side to play against.”