Tony Mowbray accepts Rovers have been ‘inconsistent’ on the road this season – but feels there are extenuating circumstances when it comes to their goals against column.

Mowbray acknowledges that conceding 44 goals in 20 away games, the most in the division, is key to why Rovers haven’t been able to challenge the top six this season, while they have won just once on the road since October 6.

Five of their last six away games have ended in defeat, the 2-2 draw at Birmingham in February being the exception to that, despite having won three, and drawn two of their opening six fixtures on the road.

The 2-0 victory at Millwall in January, a game that saw little goalmouth action at either end, was their last win, and clean sheet on the road, but Mowbray has seen shoots of recovery, not least in the performances away from home.

They head to Nottingham Forest this afternoon looking to end their bleak away run, and do so on the back of an impressive win over Derby, albeit it at Ewood.

“I feel away from home we’ve been a little bit inconsistent,” he said.

“The last 20 minutes of both games against Villa and Sheffield Wednesday we were on top, but had spells in the first half of both games where we were very much on the back foot against two decent teams.

“Against Forest we’ll be looking to be on top for more than half an hour.”

Injuries in defence haven’t aided Rovers’ cause, with central defenders Darragh Lenihan, Jack Rodwell and Charlie Mulgrew all being absent at times since January.

Mowbray believes the lack of a settled backline has more than played his part in the number of goals conceded, and has continued to stress his desire to improve in that area when the transfer window re-opens this summer.

He does have more options at his disposal this weekend, with captain Mulgrew pushing for a return to the side after missing the Derby win with an ankle problem.

He added: “There have been reasons for the goals we’ve conceded away from home generally.

“The inconsistency of selection, because of injury, has been a big blow.

“Aston Villa was the first time in 14 games Mulgrew and Lenihan had played together. The full back situation, Bell and Williams who have both been out for different reasons.

“There has been an inconsistency in that area, mainly because of the central defensive positions.

“I feel that when we can put a team out that we believe has a consistency about it, we’ll be able to cope better defensively.

“It’s been a frustrating second half of the season with the selection issues.

“In January, Lenihan and Rodwell played every game together in that run.

 “The last few games, let’s see if we can get some consistency in that central defence, but Mulgrew will be pushing hard now he’s back training.

“I do think when you break our season down, we have let in far too many goals in to have been in a position where we could threaten the play-offs.

“Moving forward we have to address it.”