Tony Mowbray won’t allow Rovers to let their season fizzle out as he targets as high a finish as possible in the remaining 14 games.

Mowbray admits his side are likely to ‘fall short’ of any hopes they had of reaching the top six after a run of three consecutive defeats.

A 2-1 reverse at Reading on Wednesday was their sixth loss in10 league games and leaves them 14th ahead of Sunday’s visit of Middlesbrough.

Mowbray is confident his players can recover from the dip in form and have a strong end to the season.

“We want to be picking up points and looking at the top end of the table,” he said.

“There’s still a long way to go but it looks like we’re going to fall short of what we would like to achieve.

“We will win games, there’s still plenty left, and we’ll see where the points tally takes us and try and build a team that can give us the belief we’re going to finish in the top six as we move forward.”

Rovers conceded in the one added minute at the end of the first half at the Madejski Stadium when John Swift scored from Reading’s first shot on target.

Amari’i Bell equalised eight minutes from time with his first for the club, but Nelson Oliveira scored on the counter for the hosts four minutes later.

“Game management, we know that’s a bit of an issue for us and has been a few times this season,” Mowbray added.

“It’s something we talk about a lot, something the senior players are very aware of.

“That second goal we’re all around their box looking for a winner, Elliott Bennett wins the ball high up the pitch, finds Danny Graham who misses a ball to Bradley (Dack) and then (Liam) Kelly plays a 60 yard diagonal and it’s three v two against us.

“I’ve spent two years talking about being organised behind the ball when we’re attacking so there’s a huge frustration for us, yet it’s difficult for me to moan and criticise and talk about the negatives.

“We know what they were, but there were a lot of positives.”

Mowbray made four alterations for the game, with Graham, Dack, Harrison Reed and Derrick Williams all dropping to the bench.

Ben Brereton and Craig Conway were handed rare starts, with Rovers dominating for the most part without taking full advantage of their possession and territory.

“That’s why you have a squad. You can’t just have 11 players,” the boss said of the changes.

“I thought the team functioned really well. Without Dack and Graham I thought the front three looked lively, but the finishing touch just wasn’t there.

“We worked on different service in to the box when Danny is not there, because there’s no point clipping balls in for the keeper to catch them and the centre halves head them out.

“We didn’t quite produce that on the night, yet I thought our football at times was good. Brereton can turn, travel with the ball, looks like he can be a threat. We’re excited about him for the future.

“So there are positives, but it was hugely disappointing, particularly having equalised and thinking there was only going to be one team going on and winning it. It was a sucker punch really.”