ROVERS have reached the 10-game stage with one point less than last season leaving boss Tony Mowbray with a sense of ‘what if?’

He takes his side to QPR this afternoon four points outside of the play-offs having taken just one point from two home matches within the last week.

Defeats to newly-promoted pair Charlton and Luton leave Mowbray with a sense of disappointment who admits Rovers are searching for the right balance between introducing a new-look style of play and winning matches. Rovers have been something of a bogey team to QPR, unbeaten in their last 15 meetings, and will aim to head in to the international break on a winning note.

“We’re doing okay. We haven’t accrued as many points as we would have liked,” Mowbray told the Lancashire Telegraph.

“I could sit here and say ‘what if?’ but every club could.

“What if we had beaten the two teams that were in League One last year? We’d be sitting just about top of the table.

“But we have lost two home games to Charlton and Luton, games we dominated, but lost.

“The longevity of the season will show whether that’s a pattern.

“But I’d rather have as much possession and threat than not.

“If we’re going to lose a game I’d rather do it by being pretty dominant than a team battering us from start to finish and being well beat.

“Let’s keep going, find a way to win football matches, understand every game is tough, as you’ve seen from the number of the draws in the week, indicative of how tight the league is this year.”

Mowbray stated at the end of last season that in his third full year in charge he would look to move towards a more possession-based style.

Rovers dominated the ball in the defeat to Luton, and Tuesday’s draw with Nottingham Forest, but Mowbray has seen signs that his team are moving in the right direction.

He feels there is an opportunity for Rovers to break from the cluster of teams chasing a top six spot, having set a target of at least 70 points for this campaign.

And he feels a change in style will help with their quest to improve on last season’s 15th-placed finish. 

“We are trying to create our own identity, be better with the ball than we have for two-and-a-half years,” the boss added.

“But we have to win games and find the right balance when to play direct, when to keep it, when to go wide or through the middle.

“We’re working hard in training on all of those things and I have to get the players to buy in to the game-plan for each game to go and try and win.

“We have to paint the pictures for the team, give them the game-plan and they have to go on the pitch and make it happen.

“Generally if we get the game-plan we will win matches and give teams problems.

“We can do that away from home as well as at home.”