It is better to have dreamed and missed out, than to have never dreamed at all, even if ultimately it was to end in frustration and disappointment.

Two screamers saw Rovers sign off a season in which they had dared to dream in fine fashion, but this will be a campaign that will ultimately be remembered as one of a missed opportunity, despite the undoubted progress and a highest league finish since 2013/14.

Finding results when it matters most remains the biggest barrier for this emerging Rovers side who again showed that when the pressure is off, and there is freedom in which to play, they can look a real threat.

Tony Mowbray too signed off, this his final match in charge, and he has undoubtedly set the foundations for which someone else will now have to build on, this more the end of an era than a football season.

Recent weeks have felt something like a farewell tour for Mowbray, his appearances infront of the media feeling as much an opportunity for him to air his views to the ownership as the supporters.

Whether by intention or not, Mowbray taking ownership of his future has taken the spotlight off a second half of the season that has seen Rovers fall from automatic promotion contenders on February 8 to playing out a dead rubber by May 7.

Throughout his tenure, one of Mowbray’s main strengths has been the stability and sense of calm he has managed to create around the whole club. He arrived at the centre of a storm, but it has largely been serene throughout his five-year stay.

He has been a safety blanket, a buffer, taking the heat off the behind-the-scenes operation, helped by progress and results on the pitch, but also the way in which he has communicated with supporters.

The correspondence that has arrived at the club addressed to the manager, showing their support for him as he prepares to walk away, has made clear there is widespread support for him, and condemnation of how this has played out and the focus turning to the owners.

To offer something of a defence, the club would have hoped to still have something riding on the season at this stage and not wanting any distractions by talk of the manager’s future.

But there is no doubting this could have played out much better than it has.

A club statement to provide clarity, and also gratitude and thanks for the job that Mowbray has done, is the very least that needs to be forthcoming, and such communication is expected to be imminent.

There has, of course, only been one side of story provided, given Mowbray has been the only one speaking.

He has never been one to hold too much back, and lately has outlined the need for greater investment in the team as well a better structure behind the scenes intimating that even were a deal forthcoming, there are areas of the club that Mowbray wanted to see improved, and assurances afforded.

However, it is only fair to point out that Mowbray has been afforded much by the ownership, not least time. Few managers survive a run of one win in 11, as he did in 2019, never mind the same again in 2021, nor a similar run in 2022.

That is testament to the work that Mowbray has done, the stability provided and the faith shown in him by the owners.

For some time it has felt like more than a football season coming to an end, this is very much the end of era, with too much time elapsed, for it to change.

But with all that has been said, but just as importantly not, there is a big question as to whether either side are ready for this to be the end? But given that it is, the club must act quickly, or face being left behind heading into next season.

Rovers find themselves in a position where the manager of the club is working with a recruitment department, discussing players for who he won’t be working with next season.

Mowbray’s contract runs until June 30, but with the season now done, whatever decisions or discussions need to take place must happen now to ensure this is the start of a fresh era, not one in which they are playing catch-up.

The speed of decision-making remains a concern, and with the new season getting under way on July 30, Rovers have to find a new manager, head of recruitment, head of fitness, front of shirt sponsor, and that’s before we get onto speaking about the playing staff.

The team named by Mowbray in his final team selection included no loan players, a starting XI of players under contract for at least next season, and only captain Darragh Lenihan on the bench whose future is uncertain.

Every player in the Rovers squad, bar Ryan Nyambe and Lenihan, have either been handed their debuts, or been signed by, Mowbray.

Players such as John Buckley, who scored a rocket of an opening goal to put Rovers ahead, have only ever played under him.

So there will be a sadness within the dressing room at such a big figure of the club is to move on.

With the freedom to play, and no pressure on their shoulders, Rovers were the dominant side and good value for their victory. With more care with their finishing, Ryan Hedges in either half and substitute Dilan Markanday both failing to hit the back of the net when presented with one-on-chances, this could have been much more comfortable.

The two goals they did score were worthy of the goal of the season prize that Reda Khadra had already won.

Buckley rifled a 25-yarder into the top corner just before the half hour, while Brereton bent an unstoppable shot beyond the motionless Neil Etheridge from the left edge of the box. Both drew applause from the home stands.

Birmingham pulled one back late on, Kristian Pedersen slaloming his way into the box before a slide challenge helped take the ball beyond Thomas Kaminski and into the corner.

Rovers were still good value for the win when the final whistle came, one which saw the players head down the tunnel as quickly as the home fans poured onto it to vent their feeling towards the way their club is being run.

That denied the excellent Rovers travelling support, a final send off for Mowbray, and the players, before heading into the summer, one that promises to be quite the overhaul.

Take out a subscription...

Gain unlimited access to the Lancashire Telegraph website with a premium digital subscription from just £1