Second best in the opening 45 minutes, not at the races until the second half, and as a result, a second successive away defeat to head into the international break.

By the time Rovers turned up, they were 2-0 down, but mounted a comeback after the break so by the final whistle they could make a claim to suggest they deserved a point.

That made the first half display, in which they were off the pace and played around with far too much ease, rankle that much more, adding to the feeling of this being a real opportunity missed to put on a showing for their strong travelling contingent.

Rovers were unbeaten on their travels heading into visits to Huddersfield Town and Blackpool, but the very things that had contributed to their previous record deserted them at the John Smith’s Stadium and Bloomfield Road.

Where previously they had a strong defensive structure and were tough to break down, in the first half they looked too easy to play against, gaps opening up across the pitch at an alarming rate.

That stemmed from an inability to win individual battles, this the first time you could level that accusation at this Rovers side.

It would be hard to imagine Blackpool getting down the Rovers right-hand side with such ease were Ryan Nyambe available, or too see Gary Madine dominate in the way he did if Darragh Lenihan was in the heart of the backline, yet it was a collective responsibility which let Rovers down.

Yes injuries have contributed to successive away defeats, and shown holes in the squad while a number of players are unavailable, but the very qualities that have been so evident in the opening fixtures that were found wanting.

It wouldn’t have taken much to improve in the second half, but such was the gulf in performance that it could have brought a comeback point, but also raised the question of just why there was such a stark contrast.

While the opening 45 minutes passed without an attempt on target, Rovers had four inside the opening 10 minutes of the second half, including a route back into the game courtesy of a volleyed Ben Brereton finish.

The opportunity was presented to him courtesy of a fine John Buckley cross, the 3,100 travelling contingent given something to shout about for the first time in the afternoon.

This was a 10th goal of the season for Brereton on what was his 100th appearance for the club. His 11 league and cup appearances since pledging his allegiance to Chile have now brought more goals than he managed in his first 89 in Rovers colours.

Once again he looked Rovers’ main source of goal threat, a curling effort soon after his goal threatened an equaliser, and moving him closer to Tyrhys Dolan in a more central role finally gave the Blackpool backline something to worry about.

It was Rovers’ out of possession play that was of real concern in the first half though.

Blackpool were on the front foot from the first whistle, leading inside four minutes as Shayne Lavery peeled off to the left edge of the box, Daniel Ayala getting across but his attempted block saw the ball ricochet over Thomas Kaminski and into the corner.

The Seasiders were picking holes in a Rovers defence all too easily, and despite losing Lavery to injury soon after his goal, his replacement Jerry Yates didn’t take long to get his name on the scoresheet.

Tyler Magloire endured a difficult evening at Huddersfield in midweek as part of a back three, and was entrusted with the right back role, but he, like the team, looked hesitant.

Caught inbetween going towards the ball and sitting off, he was caught in no-man’s land as Luke Garbutt slid a ball down the flank for Keshi Anderson who then crossed for an unmarked Gary Madine, and despite the efforts of Thomas Kaminski, Yates was on hand to turn home the rebound.

The moments after the goal were a tough watch from a Rovers perspective, chasing shadows for the most part as fans called on Tony Mowbray to make a change.

He did, albeit enforced, as Sam Gallagher added his name to the injury list when limping off with a hamstring injury, and his fitness is of concern.

Tayo Edun was selected as his replacement, and was one of the players to emerge with credit, showing the Rovers fans just why the club moved for him in the transfer window with a tenacious display.

He was at the centre of a much-improved performance after the break and would have celebrated an equaliser had his deflected cross-shot nestled in the corner, rather than just wide.

While Rovers had injury concerns, Blackpool’s quest wasn’t helped by Richard Keogh and goalkeeper Chris Maxwell joining Lavery in having to be replaced, and such was the length of time that the physios were on the pitch that eight minutes were added on.

That offered Rovers hope, a flicked Dolan header from Ayala’s nod across goal had substitute Stuart Moore backpeddling to turn away his header.

That ensured the hosts held out and sent Rovers into the break with plenty to ponder after successive defeats.

Results have taken a downturn with the loss of Lenihan, and the correlation between his absence and poor results is one that Rovers must break. The flip side is that his expected return for the visit of Coventry City after the break should bring with it greater solidity.

A smaller, inexperienced squad was always likely to rely on several key performers, and injuries will have a big say on how they fare this season.

Inconsistency of form is something that has blighted Rovers for longer than recent results, and the disappointment has been in the inability to build on the thumping win over Cardiff City.

Expectation has been far less, not weighing down on the side has been prevalent in the early weeks of the season, but yet again, with a strong travelling support, Rovers didn’t perform from the off on their biggest day of the season, and now have two weeks to stew on that first half display.