Rovers reporter Rich Sharpe picks out five talking points from the win over Wigan.


Joe Rothwell has become this year’s Harry Chapman. There is a clamour for him to start more games, but his role remains one of impact substitute for now.

For the third successive match he came on and breathed life in to Rovers who finished the game particularly strongly, and created no less than five excellent goalscoring opportunities.

His infectious energy, and the busy way he goes about his work, also brings a freshness to the other players who take Rothwell’s lead and begin to play the ball around more.

What is most vital though is that he brings the best out of Bradley Dack. Rothwell provides Dack with someone to link up with. We saw it in bursts at Rotherham, but more often here.

Dack's influence on this team is huge, and he certainly enjoyed the closing stages against Wigan, as he ended a six game wait for a goal, his longest run since signing for Rovers.

He could have had a hat-trick in the final 15 minutes, but never gave up in his pursuit of a 15th of the season which came when he took advantage of a poor back pass.

Rothwell may have no goals, and just one assist, for Rovers this season, but his biggest contribution to the team could well be getting the best out of star man Dack. Despite having played together so little, they appear to have an excellent understanding.

If Rovers continue with a back three, and two players behind the striker, he does appear more suited to that role than Adam Armstrong, whose better work seems to come cutting in from the flanks. 


Wigan boss Paul Cook said before the game he felt Rovers were already safe with 44 points. Having moved to 47, the general consensus is that Rovers have secured Championship football for another season.

There was never any real panic, despite a run of seven games without a win, but a cushion of 14 points to third-bottom Rotherham United is a welcome one.

Defeat for Wigan leaves them battling for survival, but Rovers should now have no such worries. Tony Mowbray wouldn’t be drawn on that after the match, and is keen for Rovers to look forward, not over their shoulders, as they bid to finish the season as high as they can.

They face a tough final fixture before the international break, a trip to a rejuvenated Sheffield Wednesday who under Steve Bruce have moved in to play-off contention.

But if Rovers can make it back-to-back wins and reach 50 points, then we may see more young players blooded in the final weeks of the season, as Mowbray starts to think ahead to next season.


Under Mowbray, Rovers have been solid from the spot. This season, they have converted all nine of their penalties.

Four players, Charlie Mulgrew (5), Adam Armstrong (1), Bradley Dack (1) and Danny Graham (2) have all successfully scored from the spot.

Mulgrew also managed five successful penalties last season, though did miss on the final day against Oxford, while Marcus Antonsson was guilty of seeing his effort saved at Northampton in December 2017.

In Mowbray’s final 15 games of the 2016/17 season, they won three penalties, all scored by Craig Conway.

That means that of their 19 penalties under Mowbray, 17 have been scored. The quality of Danny Graham’s penalty, high in to the top right corner, left ‘keeper Jamie Jones with no chance, and sent Rovers on their way to victory.


Rovers played for most of the game with a back five which included two wingers as wing backs, two  full backs as part of a back three, and in the centre of that, a 20-year-old debutant in Tyler Magloire.

He was withdrawn from the Under-23s squad which played Brighton on Monday and slotted in to the centre of a back three for his Rovers debut.

There was a great ovation for Magloire when his name was read out before kick-off, and great appreciation of ‘one of their own’ every time he went through his defensive work.

Magloire has areas of his game to work on, but his physicality means he is ready-made for men’s football. He was locked in a fierce battle with the experienced Joe Garner from minute one, but didn’t flinch.

He bounced several others off the ball, and his steely determination helped Rovers to a first clean sheet since January. Credit too to Ryan Nyambe, whose excellent goal-line block from Garner at 2-0 halted any possible threat of Rovers throwing away a le


Danny Graham reached 50 goals for the club when scoring from the spot in the first half, and moved on to 51 in the second.

That also ended a 332 minute wait for a goal at Ewood Park after three consecutive 1-0 defeats and the first time since Brentford on February 2 they had scored in the opening 45 minutes.

Graham has become the man that Rovers can’t afford to be without (though Darragh Lenihan’s absence in recent weeks suggests he may well be another).

Mowbray had thought about leaving the 33-year-old out of the side, for the second of three matches in a week, but admitted his experience made him an important member of what was a young side, but also one lacking height. Indeed, Graham’s work in his own penalty area was as his important as his contribution in the final third.

He tucked away the penalty, and showed his strikers’ instinct to gamble on a mistake by Che Dunkley from a long David Raya kick to fire home his second of the night.

Graham’s evening was ended just after the hour mark, after taking a knock, but Rovers will want to wrap him in cotton wool ahead of the Hillsborough trip.

Moving to 13 goals for the season, 12 in the Championship (the same as Bradley Dack) means Graham appears to be in pole position to win the club's player of the year award. It would be a deserved accolade for a great servant.

And having triggered another year in his contract to take him in to next season, Graham will be eager to prove he has plenty left to give.