Paul Dickov has warned his players they face a stiff learning curve in the Championship following their opening day defeat to Blackpool.
Rovers were good value for at least a point and looked to be on course for one when Rob Jones’ header cancelled out Steven Davies’ first half tap in.
But a defensive lapse allowed Gary MacKenzie to head home from a corner in the closing stages before Tom Ince sealed a 3-1 win for the Tangerines.
Dickov was encouraged with his side’s general play but also perturbed at the nature of MacKenzie’s decisive goal - and he has warned his players they simply cannot afford to make a habit of switching off at this level.
Dickov said: “In the second half we looked bright and we looked as if we might go on and win the game.
“It’s really disappointing to switch off from a corner and concede like we did.
“But it’s an unforgiving division the Championship.
“If you switch off for a second you’ll concede and that’s what happened. For the majority of the game I felt we played really well,” he added.
“We passed it, got on the ball and tried to express ourselves. We created chances but if you don’t take them and you’re not going pick up properly from set pieces you’ll get punished.”
Dickov is no closer to adding to his squad ahead of tomorrow night’s Capital One Cup tie at home to Rochdale, but remains in talks with a trio of left backs boasting Premier League experience.
Rovers return to action in the Championship on Friday, August 17, at home to Blackburn.