Rovers are gearing up for more than the upcoming Championship season, they are about to embark on the start of a new era at Ewood Park.

The pieces of the jigsaw started with the appointment of Gregg Broughton as director of football, the following week Jon Dahl Tomasson arrived as head coach, along with some new faces in the backroom staff.

Gus Williams’ appointment as head of player recruitment has now been finalised, meaning Rovers’ newly-formed structure is in place.

It is one the club feels will give them the strongest possible chance of getting out of an increasingly competitive Championship, bridging the gap to the parachute payment powerhouses and laying the foundations for long-term growth.

In Callum Brittain they have the first signing of the Broughton-Tomasson era, the wing-back making an instant impression as it was his inch-perfect cross, met by the head of Bradley Dack, that saw them finish their pre-season friendlies with victory at Lincoln City.

While the answers will soon come as to Rovers’ readiness to compete in the upcoming Championship season, off the field it feels as though the club have a plan, a strategy, and an infrastructure that gives them the best possible chance of success, even if that isn’t instant.

Intensity and principles have been two of Tomasson’s key messages in the pre-season games.

Rovers lacked the former in a lacklustre first half display against the League One side which saw them fail to produce a single shot on target.

Yet playing an increased tempo, moving the ball quicker with one and two touch passes, they were much-improved in a second half which could have brought more than the one goal they scored.

It was playing to the principles that Tomasson demands which brought about the upturn in performance, while the introduction of Brittain, two days after his signing from Barnsley was confirmed, was also key in providing the width they had lacked in the first half.

Tomasson says it would be a miracle were the team to look exactly how he wanted after only six weeks in charge, but the squad’s willingness to learn has given the head coach a real sense of optimism.

His focus is on the training pitch and improving the individuals within his squad, as well as harnessing a team spirit.

The players appear to have been given a new lease of life, a vibrancy around the club and a real belief in what Tomasson is trying to implement.

Brittain gave a glimpse in his 45-minute cameo of the impact he could well make on this side, and more ready-made first-team recruits are what Rovers will be targeting.

With seven Championship games to come before the close of the transfer window, there is the expectation the Rovers side will look very different from the one which starts on the opening day against QPR.

Providing Tomasson with the tools he requires is the task of the club, yet finance has been made available to again give Rovers the best chance, and every sign points towards the strengthening of the squad.

Pre-season has been done a little differently this time.

The schedule, organised prior to Tomasson’s arrival, looked a familiar one.

Yet how it was carried out was very different, teams not mixed in the same game, but across different fixtures.

Tomasson has praised the work of performance director Ben Rosen, and the early signs are that fitness won’t be anything to complain about.

Some may be concerned by a lack of pre-season friendlies played by some players, though Rovers have instead focused on giving extended minutes to those featuring in games, while choosing to work those not involved intensely on the training pitch.

Even those who didn’t feature at Lincoln were still put through their paces on the morning of the game, with the staff travelling up separately to the team to ensure everyone felt a part of the project.

Forced somewhat due to a lack of incomings, but Academy prospects being handed their chance to impress has been another feature of the pre-season matches.

Central defenders Sam Barnes, Ash Phillips and Hayden Carter have done their chances of being around the first-team no harm with consistently solid performances, while Jake Garrett and Adam Wharton have been the perfect mix of snarl and swagger in the middle of the park.

Jack Vale, with two goals and as many assists, has also pushed his claims for involvement moving forward.

With the Academy a key part of the club’s philosophy moving forward, the friendlies have again demonstrated the quality coming through the ranks.

While their impact on the starting line-up may not be immediate, they have shown Tomasson enough to be around the squad, reducing the number of players needing to be targeted in the transfer window.

Though all the optimism comes with a message of patience. The number of changes at the club aren’t insignificant, even if the playing staff doesn’t reflect that as yet.

This won’t be a quick fix. Even Tomasson, a self-confessed addict to winning, knows that.

While praising the second half display at Lincoln, in which Ben Brereton and Tyrhys Dolan were denied by opposition ‘keeper Carl Rushworth and Ryan Hedges by the frame of the goal, Tomasson didn’t overlook the error-ridden first half performance where they were disjointed and lacking tempo.

The cut and thrust of the Championship for a team, and club, in transition is a testing mix.

There is a belief behind the scenes in the structure Rovers in place, and that won’t waver.

On the pitch they look fit, to have an identity, but may well remain a work-in-progress for some time.

Now for the real thing.