Rovers came back from two goals down to earn a point at Huddersfield Town and remain in the Championship’s top six.

The league table, roaming Rankin-Costello, Tyler Morton, the questions asked and posed and some crazy statistical numbers feature in the post-match talking points.



Rovers could have slipped to eighth, but remained in the top six where they have been since April, but now only on goal difference.

They aren’t alone in having struggled for results in recent times, as they watched many of their rivals slip-up.

Of the teams from fifth to 12th, only Preston North End have more than one win from their last five matches.

For Rovers it very much has the feel of last year when it is the results elsewhere are giving supporters as much, if not more, hope of them getting over the line.

Their luck ran out last year, and to avoid a repeat this time, they must start to take care of their end of the bargain.

Jon Dahl Tomasson feels their performances haven’t been rewarded with the points they deserved, but it’s about turning dominance into goals.

Given they play after their top six rivals this weekend, the likelihood is they will be outside of the play-off spots which will only ramp up the pressure on them to deliver with a testing run-in to come.



It was a long way back at half time with Rovers trailing 2-0, and for all their possession had just one Rankin-Costello chance to really show for their first half efforts.

Motoring forward from right back, he had been the most effective attacker in the first half, but took it to another level in the second half to almost single-handedly drag Rovers back into the game.

The goal he scored, just a third in senior football, was a delightful chip over the goalkeeper following a one-two with Tyrhys Dolan, while he was in the centre forward position to meet Tyler Morton’s cross in the lead-up to the second goal.

He has admitted that his roaming role makes it difficult for opposition players to pick him up in the way they may otherwise do were his starting position to change.

Using the attacking instincts honed during his development years, having made his first-team debut as a left winger, he carried the fight and had eight attempts at goal, seven of which found the target.

It was a one-man masterclass in the second half, highlighting again how crucial he has become to this side, and to the season, one that could so easily have had a different story.



Tomasson made changes, despite his limited options, and clearly picked a team to dominate the ball. The concern was how Rovers would match up to Huddersfield’s physicality, and deal with their set piece threat.

What transpired was as expected, with Rovers having almost exclusive use of the ball, but their fragility in defending balls into the box saw them concede after a period when the hosts had barely got out of their half.

That didn’t bode well with their record when conceding first, but questions over their mentality proved unfounded on this occasion as they roared back into the second half to deservedly take something from the game.

The game rested on those moments switching off, and the disappointment was the ease in which Rovers gave two goals away compared to how hard they had to work for their own two.

While that answered the question of their response to going behind on this occasion, coming from behind remains a huge question mark over this team.

Adam Wharton came into the side, but Tomasson clearly feels him more suited to playing in a midfield three, a shape Rovers hadn’t previously played since October.

With Sam Szmodics pushed out to the right, he didn’t hold the width in the same way a natural winger would do, while with Dolan leading the line they it limited their ability to put crosses into the box.

Rovers had to be intricate in their play, sometimes overly so, but the chances created in the second half was a real step forward given the question marks previously surrounding the ability to do so.

When done well, Tomasson’s methods, and Rovers’ patterns of play, really do open up space, but they must move the ball at pace to do so, something that was much more pertinent after the break.



Tyler Morton has come in for criticism, his place called into such question to the extent that his selection has become one of the biggest talking points surrounding the starting XI when it is named.

There was a moment before kick-off, when the rest of the players had made their way down the tunnel, that Morton spent time with Damien Johnson who handed out instructions, and several pats on the back, before the loanee joined the rest of his team-mates in the dressing room.

Morton will have felt the criticism one way or the other, and it was clear from his body language that he was psyching himself up as best he could.

Questions over whether Morton was the right fit when adding just one player to the current midfield make-up in the summer are for a another argument, while the injury to John Buckley may well have handed him his place back quicker than might otherwise have been, not to mention the failed January pursuit of Lewis O’Brien.

There will always be extra demands of supporters on Premier League loanees, particularly those preferred to the club’s own Academy prospects, and all that combined mean a lot is being asked of him when he too is still early in his own development.

There can be a subconscious bias that comes into the thought process however when judging a players’ performance, the mistakes and misplaced passes sticking in the mind, while the positives overlooked.

What isn’t under question is the trust he has from Jon Dahl Tomasson to the extent that the build-up play filtered through him, while he is a regular on set pieces, and given the main responsibility to get the team playing.

He had a hand in both of Rovers’ goals, a precise pass in the lead-up to the opener, and an excellent cross helped create the equaliser.

Morton created four chances across the game, made 17 passes into the final third, and completed 80 of his 88 attempted passes, and like Wharton seemed to benefit from the extra man in the middle of the park, as well as the lack of pressure placed on him by the Terriers.



From a purely numbers point of view, this game was beautifully bonkers.

The end result, where it matters most, was that both teams scored twice and took a point each from the game.

That was despite Huddersfield registering only 63 completed pass across the whole game, the fewest on record for a Championship match since such statistics began being measured a decade ago. Rovers managed 519.

The possession was 81 per cent to 19 in Rovers’ favour, with 11 shots on target to just two.

Rankin-Costello had eight shots at goal, with Huddersfield managing just nine as a team, with the Terriers forced to make 41 clearances across the game.

Dom Hyam had 135 touches, Hayden Carter 110, with Huddersfield managing just 334 as a team.