Darren Moore says he is expecting a close contest against Sunderland on Saturday.
Both 2019/20 encounters were tight games with Rovers earning a draw away and suffering a narrow home defeat and Moore believes this weekend will be similar.
“I'm expecting it to be a tight affair,” he said.
“It's another game where we have to on top of our game because they're a good team and a solid team at this level. They've got real strength and depth in their squad.
“We know what they're about and they know what we're about so I'm expecting a close game.”
Thursday marked the manager’s return from a period of self-isolation following news that he had been in contact with a positive COVID-19 case and he was keen to praise his players, staff and Andy Butler for their efforts during his time away.
“The team was in good hands with Andy and credit to him. He showed great leadership qualities and skills, and the group conducted themselves in the right manner,” he added.
“I'd call Andy in the morning or in the evening, but I left most of it to him. He has his own way of doing things and if he was trying to implement what I was saying that wouldn't have worked.
“I came back on Thursday and I've thanked everybody for their work. I've missed them all, so it was good to be back.”