With just one last hurrah for the 2018/19 season left I realise how I will miss the cut and thrust of following the mighty Rovers for a while.

The summer brings transfer speculation and departures but it is mostly focused on the big six teams with little coverage for anyone else, part of the armchair deal struck when glory-hunting.

This season has to be classed as massive progress and despite the fall away from the play-offs with that wretched run Rovers can make further headway with a handful of additions and some unsentimental departures.

It may be that Charlie Mulgrew will have to move on in order for Darragh Lenihan to assume the leadership he needs to take the next step.

Places in midfield are fiercely competitive and, although there is no doubt that Richie Smallwood is that, it may be time for the King Of Ewood to abdicate.

Tony Mowbray has a full summer ahead of him to make decisions (some of which he has doubtless already made) and to entice players to what is a club once more on the rise.

Make no mistake, there will not be a blinding light and some players coming back from injury with special powers. Rovers will need to overachieve to compete with the flood of money in the division.

In 1991 Jack Walker spent a few million merely getting Rovers up to par, firstly with rich clubs like Derby, Newcastle, Leicester and Wolves. Rovers had been as poor as a church mouse until then. So, yes, it took a bit of money. Then he took on the clubs who make more in a day from merchandise than many clubs turn over in a season. He won, spending far less than most in reality.

To attempt to complete now takes billions rather than millions. Those days are gone.

Success for Rovers, post-2012, is to compete with the top six in this


That will take canny signings, player progression and our support.

So, start on Sunday. Come on you stay-aways; you’ve made your point strongly.

Now please return to the fold. COYB.