Subs, defensive frailties and papering over the cracks – 3 things we learnt from Shrewsbury

After Rovers picked up a point away to unbeaten Shrewsbury, @tomrover discusses what we learnt from the game.

Rovers stumbled to a point against league leaders Shrewsbury.

Shrewsbury took the lead against a lacklustre Rovers side midway through the second half, but Bradley Dack’s late strike gave Rovers a share of the spoils, in what was a poor performance by the Blue and Whites.

Here we look at 3 things we learnt against Shrewsbury

Impact of subs

Despite the poor performance, solace can be taken in the fact that we looked a much better side after Mowbray made his triple substitution.

Harry Chapman continued to show why so many fans want him to be in the starting 11. He was direct and tricky, everything we lacked before he came on. The question has to be asked, how long before he starts a game?

Whittingham was also fantastic. His ability to pick out a pass was evident and his composure on the ball was something we lacked until he came on. Despite poor performances early on this season, his brief cameo against Shrewsbury showed the quality he possesses.

Marcus Antonsson also added attacking threat to the side, with some great work down the left hand side.

After a poor performance from Elliot Bennett, will Chapman find himself starting? Has Whittingham shown his quality can’t be left out? Mowbray has a decision to make.

Defensive Frailties

How often do we come away from a match lamenting our shaky defence? Something simply has to change.

I’m the first to defend players, and I’ve defended Elliot Ward in the past, but he was dire. He looked shaky, lacked confidence and just slow. We may not have much better whilst Lenihan is injured, but someone else deserves a chance.

He wasn’t alone today though. The entire back four looked poor. Mulgrew, who is always so good on the ball, found himself giving away possession often. Williams looked scared to put a foot in. They all lacked confidence. This could also be seen in Raya’s performance, the Spanish shot stopper just didn’t look comfortable with his defence today. The sooner Lenihan is back to bring confidence to a Rovers backline, the better.

Papering over the cracks

A draw is a good result, this isn’t just Shrewsbury, thinking that is arrogant. These are the league leaders, so the draw is a good result. That can’t hide the fact that this was a dire performance.

The draw very much papers over quite evident cracks in this rovers side. Slow to the ball, inability to break teams down. We were awful.

It’s far too early to be looking at Mowbray and thinking he needs to go, but if we don’t improve soon then something has got to give.

This is now his team, performances like this are not good enough. I take nothing away from Shrewsbury, I thought they were fantastic, but we didn’t half make it easy for them.

We can’t let the draw hide the fact that this was, to put in Mowbray’s words “an unacceptable performance”.

A reaction is needed on Tuesday against Rotherham.

Come on you Blues!