How the Rovers goalkeepers and defenders rated in the 2018/19 season.

DAVID RAYA       6.5

Made some stunning saves, not least at home to Leeds denying Mateusz Klich and Nico Yennaris of Brentford. His stop late on preserved the points against Hull in August as he established himself as No.1. But as the goals against column took a hit, so did his confidence, not covering himself in glory in games at Birmingham, Rotherham and Sheffield Wednesday before a mistake at Nottingham Forest in April ended his season. Will undergo surgery in the coming weeks and will return in pre-season under more pressure for his place.


Finished the season between the sticks, starting the last four games, with Mowbray keen to take an extended look at the Canadian. Looked shaky under the high ball, as shown by the QPR consolation at Loftus Road. Had easy afternoons against QPR and Bolton at Ewood, but saved his best performance for the defeat at Norwich where he pulled off some fine saves. His future is uncertain. 


Hamstring injuries have stunted his progress having made just 25 starts. Only 11 appearances in the league in 2019, two of which have come in an unfamiliar central defensive role. Signed a new deal last month, but has seen Elliott Bennett preferred in that position. Still 21, and already approaching 100 games for the club, and while he has time on his side, needs to show progress next season. 


Played in almost every position, and even volunteered to go in goal at West Brom in October. The 30-year-old has skippered the side whenever Mulgrew has been absent and is a key figure in the dressing room. Has had his tough days when used as a full back, not least at Brentford and QPR, but always given 100 per cent. His goal return will have been a disappointment to him, with just one for the season, but not surprising given his more defensive role. His versatility expected to remain key.


Two red cards and a succession of niggling injuries meant for a disappointing campaign for Williams on the whole. But he goes in to the summer as one of Rovers’ form men after moving in to central defence where he has looked more assured than at left back where he struggled early season, and subsequently lost his place to Amari’i Bell. Most likely to become an option at centre half long-term.


Started 35 Championship matches, more than any defender at the club, and chipped in with three goals. Has all the tools needed to be a more than competent full back at this level but does frustrate at both ends of the pitch. A laid-back character, Bell needs to be more assertive in his decision making at times, not least in the defensive areas where he has been at fault for a few too many goals. Will have been a real learning curve in his first season at this level.


Mowbray felt central defence would be a good home for Rodwell, who demonstrated his quality during an excellent run of form during the four wins in January.  Looked better with Lenihan alongside him, but did have some wobbles, not least in the defeat to Wigan in October. Rovers knocked the defensive experiment on the head in the closing weeks of the season where he operated in midfield, but lacked any real intensity to his performances. Mowbray likes his versatility.


The goals have come once again, not least with the addition of a unique talent of scoring from corners on three separate occasions. Started 28 Championship matches, but sat out the final six games with Williams preferred in front of him. Extended his contract and remains an experienced and important member of the squad. With defenders expected to arrive, will face the biggest challenge yet to his place.


His importance to the team was arguably demonstrated most while he was out of the team, as his absence after the defeat at Brentford in February coincided with some desperately poor defensive display. Remains the most physical and imposing defender at the club, something Rovers will look to address in the summer. At 25, is showing his maturity. Could well be a future captain.


Got his first team chance in March when Rovers short of central defensive options. Showed his promise when helping the team to a clean sheet against Wigan but then struggled against a more physical Sheffield Wednesday side.