Alex Smithies

Has earned his starting place – and is making a big impact. Shone in pre-season, when he was left out of the first team squad USA tour squad and played for the under-23s, and has been impressively consistent. Etheridge injury opened the door and Smithies has grabbed his chance with style 7

Lee Peltier 

Solid, reliable right-back who gives the Bluebirds confidence down that side. A quality defender at Championship level 6

Sean Morrison (capt) – Man of the Match

A leader who is demanding more and more from his team. Defended solidly and his team answered his call with a disciplined, organised display 8

Aden Flint

The big man is a rock alongside captain ‘Mozza’. Flint’s 6ft 5ins frame shuts out opposing strikers. There is a lack of real pace between Morrison and Flint, but they are working together and the partnership is growing and developing 7

Joe Bennett 

Personally, I’m a Bennett fan. Defends reasonably well and loves to join in going forward. Could not link up with attacks as much as he would have liked and wasn’t at his best, but played his part in a positive away result 6

Joe Ralls 

‘Rallsy’ is full of fight, energy, tenacity ands a hugely competitive edge. Box-to-box, a midfield player who can make the difference 7

Leandro Bacuna 

Unfairly singled out for stick from fans after three 3-0 defeat at Reading where he was asked to help out at right-back. OK, he was some way bellow his best at the Madejski Stadium. Over the last two matches, though, Bacuna has been back in midfield and his form has been spot on. Hit a post in an early City raid, while a beautifully timed interception cut out a Rovers attack 7

Lee Tomlin

A second match in four days was always going to be tough for Tomlin after recovering from illness. His ability to open up defences is going to be crucial for the Bluebirds this season. He is fitter and leaner than I have seen him during his time at City – and he is moving steadily towards 100 per cent. Set up a chance for Bacuna with a superb pass 7

Josh Murphy

Murphy must impose himself on matches and he failed to do that at Blackburn. He has pace and genuine ability. We need to see both assets consistently 6

Gavin Whyte

It’s going to take a little time for White to adjust at Championship level. At 23-years-old he has massive potential and showed glimpses of that against Huddersfield in midweek. Worked hard at Blackburn and I’m convinced he will develop into an impact player under Warnock’s guidance 6

Robert Glatzel 

City must find a way to feed the German striker, who has the assets needed to be a Championship success. He holds the ball up well, links well and loves running at or off the shoulder of defenders. Team-mates must learn Glatzel’s runs and get the ball into him 6


Junior Hoilett (for Tomlin 56)

Tomlin completed almost an hour and made way for former Rovers player Hoilett, who had a couple of scoring opportunities and picked out Flint with a cross which the centre-half headed over the bar 7

Omar Bogle (for Glatzel 60)

There is much more to come from Bogle, who can be a handful for opposing defenders. Needs game time – and I hope he starts against Luton in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday 5

Joe Day (gk)

Not used

Will Vaulks

Not used

Isaac Vassell

Not used

Curtis Nelson

Not used

Callum Paterson

Not used

Blackburn Rovers: Walton, Williams, Johnson, Gallagher, Graham (Armstrong 71), Bell, Downing (Nyambe 81), Dack (Rothwell 71), Lenihan, Travis, Bennett. Subs Not Used: Leutwiler, Smallwood, Rankin-Costello, Buckley.

Referee: David Coote

Attendance: 13,291