Rich Sharpe looks at the positives of Rovers recent Championship campaign...


A good start, and a strong finish meant Rovers didn’t find themselves embroiled in a relegation battle at any stage of the season.

Even the post-January slump, in which they took just four points from 11 games, the lowest they fell was 17th in the table, and no fewer than eight points above the dropzone. In the end they amassed 20 points more than third-bottom Rotherham, and 14 behind Derby who finished sixth.

Rovers had a brief flirtation with the play-offs, rising to eighth after their perfect January, but were the very definition of a mid-table side.

And to say it was done with the mainstay of a side which won promotion from League One the year before, to stabilise and consolidate with minimum fuss has to be seen as a positive.

The key now is to make sure they build on the platform this season has brought.


If the 2017/18 campaign was Lewis Travis’ breakthrough year, then 2019 was his coming of age.

Having looked set to leave on loan, first in August and then again in January, the 21-year-old stayed around and took his chance when it presented itself.

He finished the season as arguably first choice in central midfield.

Indeed, in home defeats to Middlesbrough and Stoke, his absence was felt, and for that there can be no bigger compliment.

He will have benefited from the level of opposition he’s come up against and there is great promise about what more he can offer.

Showed signs in the final weeks that he can both start attacks and break from midfield, opening his goal account in the Norwich defeat. With greater emphasis set to be placed on the technical ability of Rovers' midfield next term, Travis has shown he has the capabilities to do that.


There was always going to be external focus on Dack this season given his two League One player of the season awards, but inside the club there was always a confidence he could comfortably make the step up.

The fascination in him stemmed to opposition fans, and players, with the 25-year-old often singled out for special treatment. It was an up and down season for Dack in terms of form and fitness, but his ability to carry forward his weight of goals has been a real plus.

He managed 15 in the Championship, more than any other midfielder in the league, as well as contributing seven assists. His three cup goals, including in the FA Cup tie at Newcastle, saw him finish on 18, the same number as last season.

The fact his longest drought since signing for the club is six games, between February and March this year, shows how reliable he has been in front of goal. Rovers will once again resist, as best they can, any bids for Dack this summer and add more quality around him.


Plenty has been made, and quite rightly, of Rovers’ defensive struggles this season, with 69 goals conceded in 46 league games. With 48 of those coming on the road, no team had a worse defensive record away from home. But at Ewood, only three sides conceded fewer.

Of their 12 clean sheets, eight came at home, three of which came in the final five games.  While Rovers lost six times in front of their own fans, opposition teams didn’t find it easy. All but one of those defeats were 1-0.


Rovers ended the season with 13 points from a possible 18. At no stage of the season did they manage to put together a better run of results from six consecutive matches.

 It wasn’t just the team who signed off in good form, with a number of individuals pushing their credentials for more involvement next season.

Joe Rothwell starred on the left wing, adding an end product to his silky skills, while Derrick Williams also proved to be a more than useful option alongside Darragh Lenihan in defence.

The Under-23s side also enjoyed another excellent campaign, with cameos from the likes of Tyler Magloire, Dan Butterworth and John Buckley, as well as Harry Chapman and Jacob Davenport who have been short of first-team opportunities, illustrating the quality of youth in reserve.