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Full credit to the players

The boss reflects on the start to the season

19 September 2018

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Rovers boss Tony Mowbray insists nobody is getting carried away, despite an encouraging start to the season.

In the space of four days, Rovers have remained unbeaten against two teams with big budgets and big expectations, who both finished in the Championship play-offs last season.

Only a last-gasp equaliser denied Rovers what would have been a deserved 1-0 victory over Aston Villa on Saturday, before Mowbray's men held a reinvigorated Rams team to a goalless draw at Pride Park.

Tuesday's result means Rovers have lost just one of their opening eight league games, following promotion from League One last term, but the boss says his side need to be better with the ball if they want to reach the levels of the top teams in the division.

"We're just taking each game as it comes at the moment," said Mowbray.

"We were so disappointed on Saturday night to lose a 93rd minute goal.

"Points have slipped through our fingers a little bit, otherwise we could be a lot higher up this table.

"I think back to the opening day at Ipswich, when we conceded another 93rd minute equaliser.

"Had we got four more points we'd be right up there in the top six. So great credit to the group.

"I think that (Derby) was a bit of an eye-opener for us, how good the top teams are in this league.

"But full credit to us. If we can take points away to places like Derby and then nick wins at home, we'll see how the season takes us.

"I've said to the players, we do have to be better with the ball as we move forward. If we can keep the spirit and the fighting togetherness, let's just keep developing our team.

"We have to put into context, we've just come out of League One and Aston Villa got to the play-off final last year and Derby have got huge ambitions - they've spent a lot of money.

"So we're doing okay. We're not getting carried away. They were very good, but we've still only lost one game out of the first eight league matches."

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