Tony Mowbray was left ruing his side's cutting edge after bowing out of the Carabao Cup at the second round stage against Newcastle United at St James' Park.
A solitary strike from debutant Ryan Fraser was enough to ensure a third round tie at Morecambe for Steve Bruce's side, who were dominated on home turf by Rovers.
Chances came and went for Mowbray's men in the contest, with the best opportunities falling the way of Lewis Holtby, Ben Brereton and Derrick Williams.
But Rovers couldn't find a way past Mark Gillespite to force the tie to penalties, despite having over 60% possession in the cup clash.
And the lack of cutting edge was the main thing that Mowbray felt let his side down on the night.
“I think it falls into the same category as Saturday in that there was a lot of really good play, but ultimately football is about sticking the ball in the net," he reflected to iFollow Rovers.
“If you’re going to win games then you’re only as good as your strikers.
“I didn’t play [Adam] Armstrong tonight from the start because I didn’t think we could risk him with a crucial game at the weekend and with [Sam] Gallagher already injured.
“I thought it was worth giving [Tyrhys] Dolan a shot as he’s been exceptional for us throughout pre-season.
“They all worked hard and we dominated the ball for long spells. I think maybe having Gallagher arriving at the back stick to latch onto some of the crosses would have been a lot different to Armstrong, Dolan and [Ben] Brereton.
“We have to wait now for the strike force to click, but there was so much good stuff tonight to take forward," he added when eyeing the weekend home test against Wycombe Wanderers.
“We’ll keep going of course, but I understand that in football you have to win. We’ve produced some pretty good performances against some pretty good teams and some pretty highly paid footballers.
“We’ve competed and done very well in both games but have come away with nothing.”