Goals from Richard Stearman and Ollie Norwood dumped Rovers out of the Carabao Cup at the second round stage, but Tony Mowbray saw positive signs from his much-changed team against Sheffield United.
The boss made eight changes to his side against the Premier League outfit, with only Derrick Williams, Darragh Lenihan and Bradley Dack keeping their spots in the team from Saturday's draw against Cardiff City.
Stearman and Norwood struck in the first half, before Sam Gallagher pulled a goal back with just under 20 minutes remaining.
It was the forward's first goal since becoming a permanent Rover, but it was all in vain as Rovers bowed out.
“In the first half we were pretty good and executed the game plan well," the boss reflected after the encounter at Bramall Lane.
"We were up against a Premier League side, albeit who made a lot of changes, but they still had players who have played at a real top level.
“I thought we applied ourselves well, but it was a frustrating night by the nature of the goals we conceded really. They didn’t build up any pressure, but the goals from nothing.
“I didn’t think we got what we deserved tonight.
“I don’t think they worked for the goals or that there was any great play from them where they pushed us back and made it hard work for us.
“But a bit of quality proved to be the difference when you look at Norwood’s finish. But they’re a Premier League side, so you sometimes expect that," he added.
“The performance level of the team was good and I’m sure we’ll score enough goals over 46 games and we’ll have a good season.
“It’s coming, there are a lot of good signs from tonight."
And on Gallagher's goal, which came just a few minutes after he emerged as a second half substitute, Mowbray's hoping it's the first of many for the big frontman.
“Sam’s a player who probably needs to score more with his head, but we’re happy for him," he added.
"We know he can damage teams up front or out wide.
“We’re happy with the performance and Sam scoring, but ultimately we’re out of the cup. There were positive signs though and we can see if we can take that into Saturday.”