Well, February was a gruesome calamity.

That's perhaps an understatement after Blackburn Rovers progress through a month that contained fixtures and they failed to win any of them.

One draw and five defeats ensure Tony Mowbray's side slumped to the bottom of the Championship form table. Like one final Jäger before the bar closes after a night on the old Stella's, Rovers hit the dizzying heights of eighth-place heading into the month before the vulgar concoction of beer and liqueur resulted in them spurning out their evening's progress in an embarrassing scene of sick and disillusion.

Saturday was supposed to be the occasion where Rovers cast aside their dreadful form and proved they're capable of altering the direction of a seemingly sinking ship. And while they looked to have briefly plotted a course to a rosier destination in the first-half, a Matthew James wave deviated Rovers from their route, heading back in the direction of the ominous dark clouds that linger south.

Here we take a look at the positives and negatives from Rovers' score draw with the Sky Blues.

Positives

Brereton glimpses

You may suggest I'm clutching at straws but there is a correlation between Ben Brereton's injury against Millwall, Rovers' results before and after that incident and their goal output in the aftermath of his injury, in comparison to before.

Brereton took his tally to five goals for the campaign with a sublime finish just before the half-hour mark, chalking up his second in two matches.

The forward has shown small glimpses that he can recapture his early season form that established himself as an integral and influential member of this Rovers side.

I'll dish the statistics out. Rovers averaged 1.93 goals per game prior to his injury. In the six games he was absent before returning against Sheffield Wednesday on Boxing Day, they averaged 1.00. In the 12 games since, that trend has continued with Rovers chalking up one goal per game.

I'm not suggesting at all that Rovers' calamitous form is purely down to an injury that a five-goal forward sustained at the start of December but Brereton's influence on the final third was largely underestimated. His defensive contributions, too, ensured Rovers unearthed a balance to their system.

Injuries can disrupt the best of players and a knee issue can be a particularly concerning one. Fortunately it wasn't a severe one but the disruption appeared to have knocked the wind out of his sails. A weakness in motion can be detrimental to performance and being able to build yourself up, on both a physical and psychological level, is crucial for a player to recapture their best form.

As you can see in the graph below, his contributions in the final third have diminished as the season has progressed.

Ben Brereton's attacking influence over the course of the 2020/21 season.

The fact he's now in the goals, gaining confidence and showing glimpses of his dynamic traits is a snippet of positivity to take forward.

20-minute spell

For 20 minutes Rovers looked capable of putting Coventry to the sword. They'd rode a period of mounting pressure and began to assert their authority on proceedings. Difficult pitch conditions? The bobbles don't bother us. Let's play an intricate triangle in a wide region to lure Coventry in and open up a gap for our attackers to exploit in the middle.

And the team were fashioning openings. A dinked Rothwell pass, slightly reminiscent of Joe Rankin-Costello's chipped ball for Brereton to win a penalty in the reverse fixture, opened up a vacant spot for Harvey Elliott to explore but his chested pass was gathered. Moments later Elliott again intelligently peeled off the shoulder of his marker, delivered a low cross but Leo Ostigard swept up to prevent Brereton from converting.

It all stemmed from a minor alteration that seen Corry Evans inherit the pivot role while Lewis Travis was given an all-areas pass to do as he pleased. It worked staggeringly well during this 20-minute period, with Travis engaging in attacks and reminding everyone of his technical capabilities. Rothwell in turn appeared to have been a given a new lease of life as he inherited pockets of space behind the Coventry midfield. I'd go as far as saying we were witnessing early season Rovers.

But then came the half-time whistle...

Travis position

Witnessed several conflicting views on Travis. Some were encouraged by his embrace of greater attacking responsibilities, others felt it was another concerning outing that reiterated he hasn't quite been right since returning from his Lateral Collateral Ligament injury.

From a personal perspective, I felt the 55-minute duration in which he survived before his inevitable early withdrawal were a showcase of his technical prowess. His role since establishing himself within the first-team in 2018 has encouraged him to focus on the ugly side of the game, something of which he does excellently well, but that in turn has inhibited our perception of him as a technical, possession-orientated midfielder.

Does deploying him elsewhere compromise team balance? I think in fixtures where Rovers expect to dominate, a touch-tackling figure may not be necessary.

The issue with Travis currently is his condition. He was cast into the deep end almost immediately after returning from a considerable lay-off, has featured in every game since and the rigorous schedule, coincided with his intense style, have resulted in a jaded warrior operating at 70% of his maximum.

Until Bradley Johnson returns, given the nature of other midfielders, it's difficult to rest him. But heading back to my main point, I think Travis proved he's capable of inheriting a more advanced role and succeeding in it, if all else fails.

Negatives

Alarming statistics

One shot, in total, during the entire second-half from Rovers. That came courtesy of a Jarrad Branthwaite header that looped that far wide that it could have almost been considered a cushioned pass to someone at the back post. To further add to the damning statistics, Rovers posted a second-half xG of 0.08. As performance metrics go for a performance-orientated manager, that's pretty abysmal.

And for a team that were hailed as a free-scoring unit at the beginning of the campaign, they have only scored two goals in one game twice in their last 15 league fixtures (Birmingham and Watford).

And for a side that previously took solace in the fact that they were creating chances and chalking up impressive numbers on their shot tally, the average tally of shots has decreased in recent weeks. In their last four fixtures, asides from equalling Nottingham Forest's shot count, they have enjoyed less shots and less shots on target than their opponents.

Mowbray spoke last week of enjoying the second most touches of any other team in the opposition penalty area. The first two months of the season (September to October) Rovers averaged 25.2 touches in the opposition box. In December, this figure dropped to a 21.25 average. Across February, Rovers enjoyed an average of 18 touches in the opposition penalty area.

There has been a gradual decline in performance across the Championship but with inconsistencies in defensive selection and those defensive frailties still prevalent, Rovers have hurt the most.

Andy Watson, the excellent analyst for Five Yards, created a graphic for Rovers' tempo over the course of the season (measured by the amount of pass completed per minute during a period of 'good' possession) and that's consistently deteriorated over the course of the season. For a ball-retention scheme, a high tempo is imperative otherwise you run the risk of becoming too lethargic or pedestrian.

I know there's still six games until the international break but it would be a timely reprieve right now.

Bereft of ideas

As Rovers enjoyed spells of possession, the idea mill had run out of substance. Bradley Dack, in a desperate attempt to create an opportunity, drifted to the flank where Elliott and Ryan Nyambe were loitering.

Asides from the aesthetically-pleasing triangles, his best efforts to spark something from a wide position proved futile. What Rovers needed were bodies in the box and a dose of urgency to provide the central regions some ammunition. Instead, as Dack later gravitated to his natural role in the penalty area, an inert Rovers attack laboured. Coventry were happy to soak up the pressure before feeding Maxime Biamou and ushering players in support.

Rovers were that passive in their approach they failed to capitalise on the excellent running work of Adam Armstrong that had opened the odd crevice in the opposition defence. It was a conservative demeanour that, if you had of joined halfway through and blocked out the scoreboard, you would presume Mowbray's side held the advantage.

If you can't play behind the lines then the ability to drive at a defence is crucial. And when you're attempting to dissect a deep block, the accuracy of pass has to be crisp. The pitch will shoulder a portion of the blame but there were far too many misplaced passes and loose touches for Rovers to mount any sustained pressure.

Central defence

Make no mistake about it, Branthwaite will evolve into an immense talent. This past week will have been a valuable learning curve for him and one that, at some point in the future, Everton will be grateful for.

There is an acceptance with young emerging central defenders that they're prone to mistakes. Except, as is always the case with loan acquisitions, the errors they make are of no detriment to their parent club but can be costly to their loan club.

As Branthwaite toiled with the lively Tyler Walker, he was beaten to the header that provided the first goal. He was guilty of several other lapses but this is an 18-year-old defender, learning his trade. He'll be all the more wiser from it.

But it does beg the question, why not persist with Hayden Carter and Tyler Magloire? Mowbray has stated his reasons for their loan departures. People will question those views but I can assure you, from what we have seen in Carter and Magloire during their respective loan spells, the duo will most certainly be providing food for thought come the summer.

And if they are not granted a first-team opportunity then maybe there is a fundamental issue prohibiting them. Everybody's career path is different. Scott Wharton had loan spells at four different clubs. He could have been integrated sooner, but he reaped the rewards of regular football elsewhere, particularly during his final season with Northampton in which he helped guide them to promotion.

Carter has been an instrumental figure in Burton Albion's revival under Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. Dino Maamria adores him, and he'll no doubt return a far more astute figure.

I feel as though I'm waffling at this stage but what I'm trying to get at is, with Branthwaite and Taylor Harwood-Bellis, the probability of individual errors are likely, in spite of their talent. What we must do is ensure we support them through it.

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Opposition system struggles

The pesky wing-back formation. Just when you thought Rovers had began to grasp the concept of two wide full-backs endeavouring forward, they stutter into life as they did on Saturday.

Sam McCallum provided Coventry's attacking threat in the opening exchanges but it was the confusion on how to contain him that felt prominent from a Rovers perspective. Does Elliott track him? Should Nyambe shift over? Eventually by shifting the midfield three and isolating passing lanes to the wide areas were Rovers able to diminish McCallum's influence.

Coventry, and for which Mark Robins deserves great credit for, proved they're capable of abiding a direct approach. Going forward they posed problems but their narrow formation enabled them to frustrate Rovers, especially during the second period.

In their last four fixtures against opponents deploying a wing-back system, Rovers have drawn two and lost two. Is defensive width an issue? Is there too great a focus on neutralising the wide men that it comprimises Rovers' command in the central regions? This is a conundrum Mowbray will have to solve with Millwall and Swansea City, who can alter to a system involving three central defenders, on the horizon.