Rovers boss Gary Bowyer believes last night’s performance against Preston was a step up from previous pre-season displays.
Despite being held to a 1-1 draw, Rovers created plenty of chances and looked lively throughout, with the majority of the side getting 90 minutes under their belts.
“I thought it was a very competitive game,” said the manager.
“I’ve said all along that pre-season has been detailed and each game has been a progression for us and we knew that was going to happen tonight in a local derby.
“We’re going to have lots of local derbies this year in the Championship. I thought the atmosphere was good and the intensity of the game was good. It was a competitive game and we’re delighted that we’ve come out of it with lots of positives.
“I thought the quality in some of our play tonight was impressive, especially after Saturday’s game, and the sharpness looked like it was coming back into our game.”
Rovers fell behind early on when former record signing Kevin Davies headed home from a corner inside five minutes.
But Bowyer was delighted with Rovers’ response, as Jordan Rhodes, Josh King and DJ Campbell all came close to an equaliser in quick succession, before Campbell did get the goal the visitors deserved 10 minutes before the break.
“It’s always disappointing to concede from a set-play,” Bowyer added. “We thought there might have been a foul or two in the build-up, but I’ll save my moaning about the referees until the season properly kicks off.
“But I thought we recovered well and showed lots of confidence towards the game and passed it well, especially in the second half.
“When you go 1-0 down, it’s always about getting the right response and we did.
“Their goalkeeper has made three good saves that I can remember, so we were certainly creating more chances tonight.”
Rovers are back in action this Saturday when they face Everton in the final pre-season friendly.
Tickets are currently on open sale priced from £12 for Adults, £8 for Seniors and 16-21yrs, and £5 Juniors under 16.
Tickets will be available on the day of the game but with a large walk up anticipated, fans are advised to get down early ahead of the 2.00pm kick-off.