A correlation between high physical output and positive results will see Tony Mowbray once again mix up his side across the course of the next three games.

Scott Wharton, Jacob Davenport and Reda Khadra all came in for their first starts of the season for the win over Sheffield United where Ian Poveda was also handed a rare outing.

They helped give the side a fresh look on the back of the 7-0 humbling at the hands of Fulham where Mowbray only made one change from the team that beat Derby County.

It was the middle game of the three, at QPR, that Mowbray made changes during Rovers’ last three game week, with tomorrow’s visit to Bristol City followed by a home game against Peterborough United on Wednesday before visiting Stoke City.

Rovers have produced their best results when having a lower average of possession, linked to the extra workrate required in such an approach.

And Mowbray said: “It was no surprise that the physical data against Sheffield United was right up there, one of the top this season, and it does equate that the harder we work, the more we run, the more points we achieve.

“Football is not as simple as that because you have to have players who can put the ball in the net and head the ball out from corners and a ‘keeper who can make saves, but when the physical data is high the team has a better chance of winning the game.”

With Daniel Ayala and Harry Pickering back in contention, plus Joe Rothwell and Tyrhys Dolan eyeing recalls after dropping to the bench against the Blades, Mowbray faces the task of deciding whether to return to his tried and trusted, or sticking with the players who did the job the last time out. However, the schedule will also play a part in his decision-making.

“All of those things, and the fact there’s three games this week,” he explained.

“You have to think about what team you might want to play against Peterborough at home or Stoke City away, and how you fit them in,” he explained.

“The main equation is to try and win the next game and that’s what we’ll try and do, win at Bristol City and then assess who did well but who looked out on their feet at the end and is in danger of injury.

“If there’s a change or two on Wednesday night then it won’t be because of anything other than trying to keep the squad fit rather than looking after the individuals or pushing players who we know can’t do it or statistically drop off because we’ve got that data of who does drop off in the second or third game of a three game week.”

  • Ashton Gate is a ‘good place to go and play football’ as Tony Mowbray expects another tight game with Bristol City.

The Robins have had their struggles on their home patch of late, but did end a 10-month wait for a victory at Ashton Gate against Barnsley last time out.

They headed into the international with back-to-back defeats on the road but host a Rovers side tomorrow who they have beaten in three of the last four league meetings in Bristol.

That included a 1-0 success in December, with the sides then sharing a 0-0 draw at Ewood Park in March. Rovers did win at Ashton Gate in December 2019, but fell to a 4-1 defeat in August 2018, their first after promotion from League One, despite taking the lead.

Mowbray feels the Robins still possess plenty of Championship quality, including Callum O’Dowda, Chris Martin and Czech Republic international Tomas Kalas.

Of tomorrow’s opponents, he said: “They have some good players, they know this league.

“They have had their struggles at home, but what I do know is that they are a big club.

“I talked a few years ago when we lost four goals there, it was a really tight game but their crowd sucked the ball in.

“We’ve had some tight games against them, it’s a good place to go and play football, we’ve had a good day there and let’s hope this weekend is another one of those.

“They’re all tough games and I’m sure this will be no different I’m sure.”