When Adam Armstrong departed concerns centred around just where the goals were going to come from. With 18 games played the bigger issue appears to be around chance creation than chances taken. When last season the discourse was about a team underachieving, Rovers are so far outperforming their numbers.

Ben Brereton’s equaliser at Bristol City came from Rovers’ sole on target. If that reads familiar then you would be right. His header at Millwall in the opening away game in August saw him level with the only attempt on target they managed.

At Middlesbrough, Sam Gallagher’s goal in the 1-1 draw was with their only attempt on goal, while Brereton’s two goals at Huddersfield Town came from three shots on target.

That means from their nine away games Rovers have fashioned 27 shots on target, an average of three a game, but found the net on 10 occasions. Across their 18 Championship fixtures they have scored in 15 of them, only Bournemouth, Fulham and QPR have failed to score on fewer occasions.

And they are the best in the league when it comes to shots on target, with 42.2 per cent of their attempts forcing the opposition goalkeeper into a save.

That has seen their 29 goals come from 246 shots at a ratio of 11.8 per cent, bettered only by top two Fulham and Bournemouth.  

Rovers are averaging 1.61 goals a game, with 29 from 18 games, but their expected goals has them at 1.07. That would leave them 17th for goals scored in the division, yet in reality, only top two Bournemouth and Fulham and fifth-placed QPR can beat their 29 goals scored.

Their overall average is boosted by the 1.26 expected goals in home matches, while for away games it is 0.87. Only four teams in the division have a lower average than that.

Last season, the underlying data showed that Rovers were underperforming in terms of their results and points tally. This time around, they are outperforming the numbers.

There remains areas to improve however. They failed to make the most of counter-attacking opportunities in the first half at Bristol City and went an hour without a shot on goal and it was until the second half that they won their first corner.

At Derby County, having clocked up 12 shots and two goals in the first half, they failed to muster a single attempt in the second half.

The 1-0 defeat at QPR last month brought with it only five shots at goal and only one on target, while at Barnsley they managed only three shots.

That shows that Rovers have been reliant on the quality of their finishing, rather than the chances created, to find the net on their travels.

For the third successive game Rovers were without Sam Gallagher and fifth this season. When he has been fit the forward has started all but one game, the defeat at QPR, and without him Rovers do lack height in both boxes.

They looked susceptible to set plays and long throws until the arrival of Daniel Ayala and had Gallagher been on the pitch then he would have helped to alleviate that threat.

At the other end of the pitch there was often a lack of numbers in the box, and it was from a poor clearance that John Buckley’s delivery landed at the feet of Brereton to allow him to lash in the winner.

Rovers then tried to continue in the ascendancy, Joe Rothwell volleying wide as he linked up with substitute Leighton Clarkson, but the hosts had the better of the closing stages and went closest to snatching all three points.

Rovers may have failed to replace Armstrong in the summer, as a deal for Josh Maja fell through on deadline day because of injury, while there is concern about the injury to Leeds United loanee Ian Poveda.

That has heightened the need to strengthen in that area in the January transfer window, but getting Gallagher back would help in that regard as they do feel at least one senior option short.

A nagging doubt will be how long they can keep up their impressive finishing numbers and how sustainable that is - but for now it’s helping them put points on the board.