For those of a Blackburn Rovers persuasion, Wednesday night is not one they will want to forget in any sort of a hurry.
A ruthless and controlled 4-0 win over an admittedly dismal Peterborough United at Ewood Park, laid down yet another statement of intent from the Lancashire club.
The nature of that victory will have been particularly pleasing, given the way Rovers have at times struggled to take advantage of their superiority in games on occasion in previous matches this season.
It also means that Tony Mowbray’s side have now taken seven points from a possible nine since that debacle against Fulham, which as well as being a near perfect response, also means that Rovers are just one position, and one point, adrift of the Championship play-offs.
After just four wins in 20 at the end of last season, and a summer transfer window that saw a long list of players leave, and just a handful come in – the majority on loan, none of which were a replacement for last season’s departed top scorer Adam Armstrong – you feel the vast majority of Rovers fans would have gladly taken an offer of this situation after 19 games of the league campaign before things began.
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But for all that justifiable excitement and satisfaction at the position they find themselves in, it is hard not to feel an element of growing concern for Rovers, with the January transfer window little more than a month away.
With Ben Brereton Diaz netting a double on Wednesday night, and captain Darragh Lenihan also on the scoresheet, three of Rovers’ four goals against Peterborough were scored by players who will be out of contract at the end of this season.
Admittedly, the club do have the option of triggering a 12-month extension in Brereton’s deal, but even then they would be under increasing pressure should the offers come in as the windows go on.
Add in the fact that it was Joe Rothwell’s free kick that Lenihan headed home, and the same player’s inch perfect through ball that Brereton latched onto for his second and Rovers’ fourth, and it seems that a significant amount of the club’s attacking threat from such an emphatic win, are facing uncertain long-term futures at the club.
At the other end of the pitch, as well an ever reliable performance from Lenihan, another of those soon to be out of contract, Ryan Nyambe, produced another solid at right-back, linking up impressively with the relentless Tyrhys Dolan down that side of the pitch.
In goal meanwhile, Thomas Kaminski – who like Brereton will be out of contract in the summer but for a 12-month extension – yet again showed his importance to this side with an excellent save to deny Peterborough a route back into the game.
That saw him keep out Sammie Szmodics when one on one as Posh applied what would prove to be their only real spell of pressure in the game early in the second half.
With all five of those players soon to be out of contract players making some big contributions to that win, the pressure is only going to increase on Rovers to secure extensions where possible, given it would be no surprise if interest was now arise in these individuals once the market reopens.
Should that happen without deals being done, it will obviously be challenging for the club to keep hold of those players, and that could risk making the pre-season expectations that have been well surpassed over the past few months, a sad and frustrating reality when considering what might have been.