Grant McCann lauded the impact of returning skipper Richard Wood on Rovers’ performance at Bradford City.
Rovers were defensively sound throughout the quarter-final tie in the Bristol Street Motors Trophy and ultimately lost out to a free kick from Harry Chapman, with little between the sides on the night.
Wood made his first start for the club since late November - and ninth of the season - after recovering from a calf problem.
And the veteran defender turned in an excellent performance - even being deployed as an auxiliary striker in the later stages as Rovers chased an equaliser.
“It’s huge to have Woody back,” McCann said.
“There wasn’t many fans in so I’m sure everyone could hear him with the organisation and talking people through the game, making sure they’re in the positions he wants in front of him.
“I thank that’s huge for any team. You need to have two or three organisers in the team, who can game manage themselves at times rather than waiting for instructions from the sidelines.
“Woody is huge and it was a really good performance against Andy Cook, who historically has been one of the better forwards in the league. I thought he dealt with him really well.”