There was a twinkle in the eye of Jon Dahl Tomasson as he celebrated his first competitive game in charge with three points.

It was just a start, but a self-confessed addict when it comes to winning, Tomasson was certainly pleased to get his Rovers project under way with three points.

It was never going to be perfect. At times it was a little narrow and frenetic, though Rovers were good value for their win as they restricted QPR to long-range efforts.

It wasn’t until the game began that it really sunk in just how much has changed over the course of the summer.

While the playing staff is yet to alter much, with Callum Brittain the only new signing in the squad, Rovers are otherwise going about things very differently.

There was a change to the pre-match routine, the players meeting at Brockhall rather than reporting immediately to Ewood, while around Ewood there was a buzz of nervous excitement and anticipation.

A healthy opening day crowd greeted Tomasson with a rapturous ovation, this very much now ‘JDT’s blue and white army’.

The head coach has spoken openly about striking a connection with supporters. He wants passion from the pitch and the stands alike. He got that in abundance in an opening day that was more about fight and drive than it was total football.

Tomasson will go about change in a strategic way, not too much soon, knowing this is a very much a long-term venture.

But it feels very much as though Rovers have a plan, a structure, both behind the scenes and when it comes to their work on the pitch.

Tomasson demands of his players. He patrolled the touchline for almost the entirety of the game, gesturing with hand signals, a focus on the fine details without over burdening the players with information.

He wants freedom and flexibility to their attacking play. A fluid front four, with Jack Vale leading the line on his first senior start, roamed and interchanged, Ben Brereton more involved in the build-up play than we have seen before.

There will be different things picked up on along the way, and there will be a while yet until this is a ‘total Tomasson team’ in terms of how they are structured.

But there are signs of what he is looking for, overloading in certain areas of the pitch, switches of play key, a focus on being positive rather than simply keeping the ball, attackers given licence to find space and not confined to set positions and hard graft. Lots of hard graft.

Tomasson believes Rovers couldn’t be fitter, praising the impact of performance director Ben Rosen.

They will need to be too to play at the intensity level that Tomasson demands.

It will come to be expected that Rovers use their bench more as the season goes on, with five substitutes now available. Tomasson making only one alteration, as Tyrhys Dolan replaced Vale just after the hour, was more telling of the current squad depth than his aversion to turning to those behind him.

It would only have been tired minds and a slip in concentration that would see Rovers relinquish a 1-0 lead given to them by the purest of Lewis Travis strikes.

Having signed off last season with two long-range crackers, the new campaign got up and running with a similarly sweet strike. Travis picked his spot from 25-yards as he bent a shot out of the reach of Seny Dieng.

Ewood roared its approval, Travis’ emotion overflowing as he marked his first outing as permanent captain with what proved to be the winner.

At the time, QPR had begun to take control, Rovers a little sloppy in their passing and unable to find a link between defence and attack.

QPR’s threat was minimal however, though Thomas Kaminski may well want to point out he got to hand to an Osman Kakay long-ranger that flicked the bar on its way over.

The stats showed no shot on target for the visitors, and Kakay’s strike apart, a Rovers defence marshalled by the excellent Daniel Ayala were relatively untroubled.

Brereton, still a Rovers player heading into August, looked Rovers’ main goalscoring threat at the other end of the pitch once again.

Rovers finished the first half stronger and almost signed off with an outrageous goal. John Buckley’s cross-field pass was knocked into the path of the onrushing Brereton by Brittain, the Chile international putting his foot through an effort from 25 yards that required the fingertips of Dieng to turn over.

The second half started and finished with two Brereton efforts, Dieng equal to those in quick succession after the restart, before watching one wide late on. The third saw the Chile international tuck home a Dolan cross, though his celebrations were cut short by the official’s flag.

There was no denying Rovers an opening day win though, Tomasson savouring more applause during a post-match lap of honour, the Danish flags held aloft in the Blackburn End not going unnoticed.

It was a reception Tomasson was grateful for, but he was humble to push the spotlight onto his players.

In his role as head coach, they are his primary focus. While there is much talk about signings and movement in the transfer market, of which Rovers need, he is concentrating on working with those already employed by the club than giving too much thought to who may be coming in.

The Tomasson project will require time, and patience. The head coach himself conceded that after the final whistle, putting aside his demands and desire for winning for a moment.

Tomasson called for a connection between the fans and the team and the early evidence was resounding. ‘A win for everyone’ was how he described it.

Polite and not overstated in his post-match debrief, Tomasson was far from getting carried away, this just a start to ‘a lovely project’.

QPR provided a decent, but not stern, test of which there will be more to come.

But the JDT era is off to a winning start, an important milestone in any project.