Blackburn Rovers endured a a disappointing afternoon on Saturday, as they were beaten 1-0 by QPR at The Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium.
Tony Mowbray, in his 200th game as Blackburn manager, went into the match with his side unbeaten in their last four league games, and with hopes of remaining within touching distance of the Championship play-off places at the very least.
But despite enjoying the majority of the possession and chances, the visitors were unable to find a breakthrough, something they were made to pay for just under ten minutes into the second half, when Yoann Barbet tapped in from close range after Rovers failed to clear their lines from a free kick.
Although Blackburn remain eighth in the Championship table despite that defeat, they now find themselves six points adrift of the play-off places, leaving Mowbray with plenty to think about ahead of their Lancashire derby with Preston at Ewood Park on Friday night.
Here, we’ve taken a look at two dilemmas that that defeat at QPR has left for Mowbray to deal with.
Questions over mentality
Once again, this defeat is one that will leave people asking about whether this Blackburn side are getting over the line in the battle for a play-off place, let alone one for promotion.
On several occasions since they won promotion from League One two-and-a-half seasons, Rovers have enjoyed a strong run of results to put them within touching distance of the play-offs, only to them suffer a string of poor scorelines such as this one that have taken them out of the running again.
This setback is therefore is likely to have alarm bells ringing around Ewood Park over the prospect of recent history repeating itself yet again, and Mowbray will be desperate for a swift return to winning ways to ease those concerns.
If they are unable to do that however, then there will once again be scrutiny over whether or not Mowbray has the ability to setup this side in a way that can get Rovers into the play-offs places when the expectation and opportunity is there, especially considering there is a general acceptance that the squad he has at his disposal is good enough to do that.
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The form of Harvey Elliott
One player who seemed to particularly struggle for Blackburn on Saturday afternoon, was Harvey Elliott.
The on-loan Liverpool winger missed a big chance to put Rovers in front with the score still goalless late in the first half, and otherwise struggled to create many opportunities for his side with his deliveries into the area, which could be a problem for Mowbray.
Obviously, the Rovers manager needs to pick the side that gives the club the best chance of winning games, and with Elliott perhaps not in his best of form right now – and perhaps in need of a break after such a busy season so far – you wonder if he does fit into that side.
However, Liverpool, and you imagine Elliott himself, are no doubt going to want the teenager to get as much experience as possible during his time at Ewood Park, potentially leaving Mowbray with a difficult decision to make here, and one where it could be interesting to see exactly what approach he chooses to take.