Had Rovers’ post-January slump come at the start of their season, with their early haul of points being chalked up now, Elliott Bennett believes Rovers’ first season back in the Championship would be viewed very differently.

Back-to-back wins have ensured Rovers will be playing Championship football again next season, after moving 13 points clear of the relegation zone with four games remaining.

They sit 15th in the table currently, but would have had eyes for a top half finish following their strong start to the campaign which had seen them considering the possibility of a play-off push.

But taking just four points from a possible 33 from the end of January to early April meant those hopes were soon dashed.

Whatever the view of outsiders, Bennett believes the season can be viewed as a successful one with Rovers competitive for the most part following promotion back from League One.

And the 30-year-old, who is targeting a strong final four games, said: “I think it’s been a really good first season back in the Championship aside from a spell of games we’ve had recently that weren’t so good.

“If we started off with the run we’ve just had but then acquired our points since then people would be looking at what a turnaround it’s been.

“It has just worked out that we started off really well and then when we got so close to the play-offs we had a blip for nine or 10 games.

“That is the life of the Championship, that’s the way it goes. Lots of teams have either been through or go through it. Nottingham Forest, our last opponents, were up there but have had a blip and that’s the competitive nature of the Championship.

“Hopefully we have a good push in these last few games and take some spirit in to the summer and in to next season.”

Rovers enjoyed a perfect start to the calendar year, as after ending 2018 with three straight defeats to the current top three, they chalked up four consecutive wins in January.

Even during the disappointment of the run of nine defeats in 11 matches, Bennett says the players maintained a belief that things would turn in their favour.

They have since steadied the ship with wins over Derby and Nottingham Forest ahead of today’s visit to Loftus Road to face QPR, the first of an Easter double-header which sees them host Bolton on Monday.

“If you go back to January, it was a fantastic month. It’s not been great since, but the belief hasn’t waned out of the squad. We’ve competed with 90 per cent of the teams we’ve played against,” he added.

“We’ve had a few results where we’ve been on the end of bad defeats but I’ve always tried to stay positive and I think for long spells in games we’ve been


“No-one wants to lose football matches and when you’re in a bad run it’s about trying to stick to your beliefs, learn from the mistakes that have cost you in games and try and put it right.

“It’s been fantastic to get back-to-back wins and hopefully we can take that in to QPR.”

The Derby win last week stopped a poor run at Ewood Park which had seen them lose four of their previous five matches.

They also ended a three month wait for an away win at the City Ground on Saturday courtesy of goals from Joe Rothwell and Danny Graham.

And Bennett, who captained the side, says Rovers are looking to follow that up with another away day to remember.

He said: “It was a rare win away from home. I think we’ve had some good performance for one half, or 60 minutes, in some away games but not picked up any points.

“It’s something we’ve got to address and learn from. It was fantastic to go away to Forest and pick up a win.

“We have won the last two games now, after a bad run, and it was really nice to get an away win after a good home win.”