Score, and stay in the team, is Tony Mowbray’s message to his forward players.

All three attackers who started the midweek win at Cardiff City were on the scoresheet, having had just Adam Armstrong’s stunning free-kick against Leeds United to show for their efforts in their previous three matches.

Mowbray has mixed up his attacking trio in the new 4-3-3 formation used since the restart, with Dominic Samuel getting a recall, and Danny Graham handed just a second start of 2020.

Armstrong has been a near ever-present, his wonder strike at Cardiff City taking him to 15 for the season, six clear of his nearest challenger, Bradley Dack, who has been injured since December.

Graham now has four, the same number as Sam Gallagher who also has a goal in the Carabao Cup, while Samuel took his tally to two on his fifth start of the season.

Mowbray knows his attackers will be judged on goals at the end of the season, with Ben Brereton yet to trouble the scorers, and Joe Rothwell still yet to get off the mark in the Championship.

For all his talent, Rothwell has also registered just one assist, and Mowbray has pinpointed Brentford’s Said Benrahma – 14 goals and nine assists – as an example for the 25-year-old to try and emulate.

“Joe Rothwell has to start adding goals and assists to his game,” Mowbray said of the former Manchester United youngster who is Rovers' second most substitute this term.

“I tell him until I’m blue in the face, ‘Joe you’re a brilliant talent, but until you start scoring and creating…’. I keep mentioning Benrahma to him, what he can he do that Joe Rothwell can’t do? Joe is fast as dribbling with the ball as him, as tight with the ball, he just has to be more selfish, he has to get in the box, shoot, we haven’t seen it enough.

“They have to step up and create competition within our team to be the guys who starts the games.

“Armstrong is scoring goals every week so he plays. If all our strikers are scoring every week then they’ll play every week.”

Rovers had the second highest expected goals figure across the Championship teams in the midweek fixtures, with two, and Mowbray is looking for his side to be more dominant with the ball.

Missed chances blighted them in their three-game winless run, not least at Barnsley where Samuel was handed his first start after the resumption, only to pass up three excellent opportunities in front of goal.

But moments after being denied what appeared to be a clear penalty, he levelled the Cardiff game up by diverting home an Armstrong cross, Rovers’ second equaliser on the night after Graham’s first-half finish from close range.

Mowbray will need to decide whether to stick with the same front three for the visit of West Brom, with the prospect of naming a first unchanged team since the 2-2 draw at Brentford on February 22.

“At Barnsley, Dominic should have had a hat-trick when it was 0-0,” Mowbray added.

“He got left out at the weekend, and I’m spinning those plates with the games coming thick and fast, assessing their confidence levels, their

frustration levels so they get the opportunity to show me why they should be in the team.

“What was great about the other night was that some players who might have had that frustration could come in, and as any striker you get judged by the goals you put in the net at the end of the


“Armstrong is up to 15 now. Danny could argue that he’s not had the opportunity to score 15 goals because he hasn’t been on the pitch long enough.

“Dominic has had his injury problems but is now looking sharp and has come back in rusty, missing those chances against Barnsley, but fantastic for him the other night to score.

“On top of that we’ve got Gallagher whose had chances in the last few matches, Ben Brereton to come back in after suspension, we’ve got some good options at the top end of the pitch.

“Armstrong, now he’s fit, he plays every game because his goals are there, his confidence is there, and the others are fighting for those other spots and let’s see how it comes out.

“Maybe the players  at the top end of the pitch are starting to come alive, maybe it was rustiness and something that needed sharpening up.”