Adam Armstrong may have seen his second half penalty saved, but Tony Mowbray felt Rovers’ captain for the day showed Premier League quality in the defeat at Nottingham Forest.

Armstrong was handed the armband in the absence of Darragh Lenihan and with Elliott Bennett among the substitutes, on what was his 149th Rovers appearance.

The striker scored his 20th goal of the season in the defeat at Barnsley, and had a golden opportunity to add to his tally at the City Ground after Ryan Nyambe had been fouled by Brice Samba.

However, the ‘keeper picked him up to deny the 24-year-old from 12 yards, diving away to his right to get two hands to the penalty.

Rovers are averaging over five shots on target per game this season, more than any team in the division, while Armstrong has had more efforts at goal than any other play in the division.

The Championship’s second top scorer had five more shots against Forest, including a 25-yard strike that rattled the post in first half stoppage time.

Tony Mowbray was more encouraged by what he saw from his side, despite a fourth consecutive defeat, and felt Armstrong was the pick of the bunch for his side.

He said: “I think it’s a harsh result on us but you have to take it.  We missed a penalty, we had some opportunities.

“I thought Armstrong was Premier League quality. He looked really special, I thought, yet he missed the penalty. But it was more like the team I recognise.

“The last two games have been difficult for us, this was more like the team we’ve seen for most of the season and I felt that we were in the ascendancy for most of the game.”

Rovers have now lost nine away games this season, with only the division’s bottom two having lost more on their travels.

They lost 1-0 for a fourth time in their last eight matches, and Mowbray felt the Forest defeat followed a similar pattern to ones at Bristol City, Stoke City and QPR where they dominated the ball and enjoyed plenty of territory without reward.

“Games we dominated, but lost 1-0,” Mowbray added.

“That’s the nature of this league, teams are well coached, they can defend, they get bodies behind the ball.

“I think the final third we fell a little bit short, Armstrong was exceptional as I’ve said, but other than that we fell a bit short with the final pass, we got into some amazing positions to score goals but we couldn’t pick the right pass at the end of the day to finish the job.

“But plenty of positives.”

Mowbray felt his side needed to raise their levels after defeats to Barnsley and Preston, feeling the Forest reverse was similar to that of QPR at the start of the month.

And while the result was the same, Mowbray was remaining positive about what he saw from his side.

He added: “It was more like the way we want to play after a frustrating last few games for us.

“We looked like the team we’ve been for most of the season and we feel a bit hard done by not getting anything from the game.

“It just seems to be the way it’s going for us at the moment.

“We needed to raise the levels after the last few games and I felt we did that.

“I’ve told the players in the dressing room that we will win football matches with those sort of performance levels.”