Tony Mowbray felt Joe Rothwell ‘richly deserved’ his first Rovers goal and feels a win over Derby County relieves some ‘anxiety’ after the recent poor run.

Rovers had slipped down the table after a run of just four points from 11 games but responded with one of their best performances of the season to beat the Rams 2-0.

Rothwell had missed two excellent chances before opening the scoring 15 minutes from time before Bradley Dack made the game safe in the closing stages.

Rovers had lost four of their previous five home games 1-0, and Mowbray admits he feared a similar scenario as his side continued to squander chances.

“A brilliant Rothwell goal, richly deserved, he worked really hard tonight,” Mowbray said of the opener.

“Graham’s strength created it, Rothwell ran in behind and finished it with a great aplomb, dinking it over the goalie.

“I thought that epitomised his performance really. He’s an exciting talent, really fast, keeps the ball really tight.

“We want him running at the opposition goal rather than across the pitch a little bit more, but delighted for him.

“I was delighted for Bradley at the death, he’s had a tough week, but got his goal and that put the game to bed.

“It’s hard to pick out individuals because I thought the performance of the team was excellent. The result mirrored that.

“If anything we could have scored more goals and probably deserved to.

“We will take the three points, put them in the bag, and that will take some of the anxiety out of it.

“When you have been on the run we have, you do half look over your shoulder. That gap was at eight points and there were enough games left for teams to win.

“To get to 50 points, although we went down with 51, we have to keep going. Five games to go, we have to express ourselves and try and pick up as many points as we can.”

Mowbray made five changes for the visit of Frank Lampard’s side which included recalls for Dack, Lewis Travis, Harrison Reed, Derrick Williams and Craig Conway.

And the boss added: “I think we got the balance right. I thought we played controlled football but also to our strength of getting the ball to Graham and working off him in the forward areas.

“I thought we showed both sides of our game. Our ball retention was good, we were good on the transition when we won the ball and broke away quickly.

“We created lots of chances.

“It felt for a spell in that second half that the goal wasn’t coming and after a lot of our home games in the last few months, you could half feel a 1-0 defeat coming again.

“We have four in the last couple of months and one slip, that’s the negativity you’re fighting in your brain.”