Tony Mowbray feels Scott Wharton has learned his trade out on loan and is reaping the rewards of his long journey to a first-team regular.

Rovers are yet to suffer defeat in any of Wharton’s 16 starts, and his return to the side coincided with the unbeaten run of 10 Championship games.

Wharton spent a year on the sidelines with a ruptured Achilles, just as he was breaking into the side after five separate loan spells away from Rovers in League Two.

He got the reputation as something of a promotion specialist, helping Northampton Town to victory in the 2019/20 play-offs, while the season before he was part of the Lincoln City and Bury sides that made it out of League Two.

The Cardiff City win was his 91st league start across his career, which have brought 45 wins, 24 draws and 22 defeats, as well as 34 clean sheets.

Rovers have shipped only three goals in the 10 games since his return to the side, while his left foot and excellent distribution has brought great balance to the central defensive three.

Wharton signed an extended deal at Rovers prior his Northampton loan and upon his return in 2020 was ready to become a regular of Mowbray’s side.

He said of the Salesbury-born defender: “He’s a steady Eddie.

“For three of my five years here he’s been out on loan, learned his trade at Cambridge, Lincoln, Bury, Northampton and he’s come back a man and he does his job.

“He wins headers, distributes the ball, relieves pressure, puts his body on the line.

“A brilliant record.

“For Scott, delighted for him because it has been a long journey.

“I would sit with him at the end of most pre-season’s and say to him that it’s best he goes out and played, like we’ve sent Hayden Carter out on loan and going to send Tyler Magloire, two young centre halves, to build up their bodies and resistance levels to a man’s league.

“It’s a lot different from playing in the Under-23s league.

“I’m delighted for Scott that he’s helping our team get results.”

Scott Wharton's record when starting a league match...

2016 - Rovers P16 W11 D5 L0 Clean sheets: 8

2019/20: Northampton P33 W15 D6 L12 Clean sheets: 12

2019: Bury P15 W6 D5 L4 Clean sheets: 5

2018: Lincoln P5 W3 D2 L0 Clean sheets: 1

2018: Lincoln P13 W7 D4 L2 Clean sheets: 4

2017: Cambridge P9 W3 D2 L4 Clean sheets: 4