Rovers reporter Rich Sharpe picks out three talking points ahead of Saturday's trip to Millwall.


Rovers fielded three defenders in their seven substitutes last weekend, with Ben Brereton the sole forward, with Joe Rothwell the next most attacking player.

While the make-up of the starting line-up could well be different, with Harrison Reed a likely starter after missing out last weekend, there may well be a shortage of firepower on the bench for Tony Mowbray to turn to.

The boss has admitted another forward was on his wishlist, even before the departure of loanee Kasey Palmer, which wasn’t unexpected.

Danny Butterworth travelled with the squad to Newcastle, and could be elevated to the bench, but the more likely option would be Joe Nuttall. He scored again for the Under-23s in their win at Chelsea on Saturday, his ninth goal in his last five games.

While there is interest in the 21-year-old, with Rovers’ attacking numbers depleted, he will be kept around the fold for now, and could be promoted to the bench.

Richie Smallwood will serve the third match of his three game suspension, meaning Lewis Travis is in pole position to keep his place in the team.


Rovers are without a win on the road since October 6 at Bolton, which also happens to be their last clean sheet away from home.

Mowbray’s men have lost four of their last five Championship away fixtures, conceding 14 goals in the process, and 18 in their seven matches since Bolton.

Only bottom side Ipswich, with 27, have conceded more than Rovers’ 26 goals away from home this season. 

Meanwhile, only six teams in the division have won more home points than Millwall. They are on a four match winning run in all competitions, and their strong home form has been key to moving six points clear of the relegation places.

So the New Den isn't the ideal place for Rovers to be heading on a poor run away from Ewood Park, but a spirited showing in the FA Cup tie at Newcastle United should give them a lift.


Charlie Mulgrew has eight goals this season and is well known as one of the most free-scoring defenders in the EFL. But Millwall’s Jake Cooper is one to look out for. The Lions defender has five goals to his name, but the 23-year-old also boasts an impressive six assists.

Only Aston Villa (16) have scored more goals from set plays than Millwall, with 14, with 10 coming at the New Den.

Rovers struggled against set plays at the start of the season, but looked to have rectified that issue. But against Newcastle they were caught out on several occasions from corners to the far post, with David Raya making saves from Jonjo Shelvey, twice, and Joselu, after being found unmarked.

And with the likes of Cooper coming up from the back, it’s something they will have worked on.