A solid, professional performance at the Ricoh Arena last night put Rovers in the hat for the next round, following a 1-3 win over Coventry City in the battle of bad owners. @braith23 looks at what we learnt from the win…
Three at the back.
Rovers look so much stronger when Mowbray adopts the 3 centre-halfs in his formation, with the two wing-backs pushing up when attacking. Rovers looked strong last night with this formation, and Mowbray may start utilising the formation this season as it allows the wingers to come back and form a solid defensive line if needed – especially when trying to grind out 1-0 wins.
If the Blue and Whites can keep this formation and keep working on it, this should allow them to attack and defend when necessary.
Don't be afraid to shoot.
Too many times last season players looked afraid of pulling the trigger. Other than Conway and then Bennett later in the season our midfield looked afraid of having a crack at goal. Tonight we've had over 20 shots on goal scoring 3 times. 2 of which were deflections which shows anything can happen if you have a go.
Smallwood is going to be a big player this season.
As I stated in my prediction for this coming season, I think Smallwood could be an unsung hero for us this season. Tonight he's proved my prediction was right, but wrong in a way. With his name being sung from the 620 travelling Rovers fans, it sounds like he'll be anything but an unsung hero, and just a hero. The fact he reads the game well and senses danger is a huge plus for us this year. In the 2 games played so far, he's already made more tackles than Akpan did all last season.
Smallwood really could become a contender for the Player of the Year if he keeps it up, fingers crossed!
Our matchday experience from Coventry will be uploaded to our YouTube channel this week, find our YouTube by searching for Rovers Chat.