This is the time that the team spirit - much lauded by many, and with my claims to its strength as loud as any - must be served up neat and un-weakened by the dishwater served up before 2pm on Sunday.

The return of Charlie Mulgrew and the sheer joie de vivre of Harry Chapman bounding back like a lad whose girlfriend has offered a second chance seemed to be a progression from the excellent start to the year.

Sadly the fall out from that dream-turned-nightmare at Griffin Park has been prolonged. Mulgrew especially, but all the defence, have been targeted and never more so than when Boro played two tall, quick men up front and enjoyed great success whenever they hit them.

Paul Downing’s critics, and there were not many, pointed to his lack of pace. Hmm.

Doubtless a returning Darragh Lenihan before Easter will buoy the sinking rearguard but in the meantime there really does need to be a settled back four.

Rovers fans of a certain vintage will be able to rhyme off the classic back four who made the Arsenal defence of the late 80s/90s look like four Bradley Orrs: Branagan/Rathbone/Keeley/Fazackerley.

The only stumbling block denying successive promotions was that they only had the excellent Jim Arnold behind them for half of the Second Division campaign.

How worse Sunday may have been without David Raya who is learning from mistakes and growing into a mature keeper.

I accept errors made in youthful inexperience. Ben Brereton, Amari’i Bell, Lewis Travis and Ryan Nyambe will learn from the bad times. It was the lack of an example shown by some of the senior pros that rankled.

Dr. Smith (not actually a qualified GP) would prescribe a good old ‘team-bonding’ evening, preferably away from the bright lights. Ease some of the U23 lads into the fold and carry on building for the future.

Tony Mowbray didn’t come in with a box of sticking plasters and try a cosmetic cover-up. He has undertaken the tough job of smashing the problem and resetting it right. A blip is a blip.