On the face of it, things are going rather well for Tony Mowbray and Blackburn Rovers.
Following an unbeaten January in the league that saw Rovers claim ten points from a possible 12, the Ewood Park club go into their trip to QPR on Saturday afternoon eighth in the Championship table, just three points adrift of the play-offs.
However, there are still some issues under the surface that despite the positive outlook around the club, may be something of a cause for Mowbray, ahead of his 200th game as Blackburn manager this weekend.
Here, we’ve taken a look at three dilemmas that may be worrying Mowbray as he assesses the current situation at Ewood Park.
Avoiding the traditional choke
While things currently look rather promising for Blackburn and Mowbray in the Championship table, the Rovers boss will be acutely aware that they have been in this sort of position several times before under him.
On a number of occasions since Blackburn made their return to the Championship at the start of the 2018/19 seasons, Rovers have enjoyed runs such as the one they are currently on to move within reach of the top-six, only to then suffer a poor run of form that has taken them back out of play-off contention.
Plenty has been made of that in the past, and Mowbray will now that if that happens, questions will once again be asked about whether he himself is capable of getting them over the line in the promotion race, particularly in light of the backing he has been given in both the summer and January transfer windows this season.
Quality of performance
One issue that will tie into those concerns about maintaining that current form, is the actual showings that have been produced from his side in recent weeks.
While they have been picking up those results in the month of January, the actually quality has not been as convincing, with Rovers often finding themselves hanging on games, rather than running away with them as they did on occasions earlier on in the campaign.
That too will be a worry for Mowbray, both because he has expressed his desire to see a more free-flowing, attacking style of play from his side that was seen a few months ago, but also because if their luck does start to turn against them again while they are not playing at their best, those all important results could start to dip as well.
Player contracts expiring
Mowbray has often spoken recently about his side being on a journey as they aim to make their way back to the Premier League, but he has some work to do if he is to make sure all his players are going to complete it with him.
As things stand, there are no fewer than ten members of Mowbray’s current squad – including key men Ryan Nyambe, Joe Rothwell and Joe Rankin-Costello – who see their contracts at Ewood Park expire at the end of the season, while there are five more players who are only on-loan until the end of the campaign.
Consequentially, Mowbray will want to see Rovers start to do deals for certain members of their squad quickly so as not to leave themselves facing a summer squad overhaul, particularly given their are also a number of players – including top scorer Adam Armstrong and defensive leader Darragh Lenihan – who are out of contract at the end of next season, meaning as things stand, there could be plenty of pressure on the club in all senses once the transfer window reopens.