It was as if Scooby Doo and the gang had found secret plans to turn Ewood Park into a ski-lodge and unmasked all those impersonating footballers.

On any other day there would be many claiming the man of the match honours but, as it was, the four midfielders stood out.

Craig Conway forced Ashley Cole to endure the kind of ‘times up’ game that famously caused Gary Neville to retire at half-time.

And Lewis Travis once again convinced as the central cog in the machine.

One moment in the second half revealed much about his play.

Travis could quite easily have swept the ball wide to Conway but instead halved the distance with a crisp pass to Bradley Dack, who took a velvet touch and played the Scot in at a more advantageous angle.

Young Lewis may be more David Batty than Tugay but he’s all the better for that. And he finally had a shot on goal.

Yet it is the other two who will rightly get the plaudits.

Joe Rothwell has had to endure some tough love from Tony Mowbray and, although his cameos have excited, his tendency to spiral off across the pitch and be occasionally lax to defend has kept him on the bench. Now he has seized his chance.

He ran more directly and his work-rate was only bettered by his dogged colleague, Harrison Reed.

Back to the form that made him a terrace hero it is grand to see his sheer exuberance rub off on others.

Of course, this may all be a false dawn and those masks will be back on Saturday, but whether Rovers made Derby look woeful with sheer effort and consistency, or whether Frank Lampard’s triers have hit a wall Tuesday was the tonic that we’ve all been waiting for.

Most of these players will improve further and sometimes coming through the other side of adversity makes or breaks a player.

The lack of effort I bemoaned last week was cured by 75 per cent of those players not being fielded.   

Concentration is paramount at this level and it must be paralleled by work-rate as well as skill.