Tony Mowbray feels his young team are performing above expectation and has credited captain Darragh Lenihan with a key role in the club’s start to the season.

Rovers sit seventh in the table with 19 games played, that is despite a host of departures in the summer, including top scorer Adam Armstrong, being replaced by a handful of loanees and one permanent arrival in Tayo Edun.

Mowbray feels that has allowed young players such as John Buckley to accelerate their development but feels the role of captain Lenihan, who took over the armband from Elliott Bennett on a full-time basis in the summer, has been key.

“I think it’s credit to them,” Mowbray said of Rovers’ early season form.

“I love John Buckley but I didn’t expect him to grow so fast.

“What happens sometimes when you lose senior players is that the young players either struggle and don’t have the personality or they grow into the spaces that are left.

“The dominating personalities have gone and someone has to fill that void, be the voice of the dressing room.

“Lenihan is trying to be a leader, it’s not natural to him but he is doing an exceptional job. He hasn’t got (Charlie) Mulgrew or (Danny) Graham in his ear, great players for this club but they’re not here anymore and someone has to fill that void.

“Lenihan is doing a great job as captain of this club but those young boys are filling the voids of (Elliott) Bennett and (Craig) Conway, even last year, (Lewis) Holtby and (Tom) Trybull, experienced players who are no longer.

“They’re filling that void and doing exceptionally well in the job.”

Victory over Peterborough came three weeks on from the 7-0 thrashing at the hands of Fulham.

Rovers have since responded with seven points from a possible nine, having also won the two games prior to the Cottagers clash, confirming Mowbray’s view that was very much a one-off.

He says his players have shown the right characteristics to come back from that and keep up their progress.

He added: “They won the two games before Fulham, they’re all working hard.

“I think it’s important we don’t put too much expectation on them at the moment, they just want to win the next game and see where it takes us.

“I can easily sit here after a defeat and say ‘this is a young team, they’re giving everything they’ve got and fighting with everything they’ve got’ but some days we will lose.

“After Fulham they came in, their eyes were wide open, I told them that they would remember that game and that result for the result of their careers, the rest of their lives.

“You have to react, if you’re a man and made of substance you don’t crumble, you stand up and fight and that’s what they’re doing at the moment which is great to see.”