Derrick Williams waited almost two years for a goal in Rovers colours but now sits as joint top scorer. While goals from Williams have been a rarity, so too have strikes from outside the box.

Discounting the set pieces prowess of another left-footed central defender in Charlie Mulgrew, now out on loan at Wigan, Williams’ goal was just the fourth since promotion back to the Championship to come from outside the box.

Boss Tony Mowbray moved to a back three for the visit of a Millwall side who, a 4-0 defeat at Fulham apart, had been strong defensively in the early weeks of the campaign.

Williams strike was the first goal from open play that Rovers had scored at Ewood, 18 minutes in to their fourth home game.

The 26-year-old has started the season in excellent form, having been plagued by injury last season and spending the majority of it filling in either at left back or in the centre of defence.

But a focus on his duties as a central defender, and a run in the team, has seen him contribute to a defensive effort which has seen Rovers keep four clean sheets in their last five matches.

But Mowbray felt Williams’ long-ranger was a perfect example of utilising three central defenders when going forward.

“I said the players this week, ‘what goals are we going to score against Millwall?’,” Mowbray explained.

“I thought we’d have a lot of the ball, we talked about getting in behind them and cutting it back, a bit like the second goal.

“We spoke about the fact that Stewy Downing was the only goal we’ve scored from outside the box this season and that’s something we need develop and work on.

“The fact Derrick did that is great.

“With three centre backs you can get that high up the pitch if they’re only playing with one striker, not overlapping like Sheffield United, but picking when to push on.

“There’s no need to have three playing against one. You can push one of your centre halves in to the heart of midfield and push a midfielder in to the box.

“That’s what Derrick did. Strode forward because they only had one striker and he drilled it in.”

Like Williams, Bradley Dack scored his second league goal of the season in the second half, and has topped the scoring charts in each of the last two seasons.

Danny Graham and Mulgrew have not been too far behind, but with the club captain now moved on, and Graham having started just two league games, boss Tony Mowbray knows the importance of sharing goals around.

With seven goals in as many league games, the boss added: He added: “We have to score goals from all over the pitch this year if we’re to be a threat to the division.

“It’s been tough at the start of the season scoring goals but I think the signs are there the goals will come.

“I don’t have any concerns that the goals won’t come in games.

“What’s pleasing of course is clean sheets at the other end.”