Tommy Rowe says going back to basics has helped him become a more cohesive force in the Doncaster Rovers engine room.
Manager Darren Ferguson said last week he believed his marquee signing put too much pressure on himself at the start of the season - adding Rowe felt he had to be the best player in every game.
The 28-year-old midfielder’s form has steadily got better and better as the season has gone on.
Last weekend he showed some fine touches against Grimsby and displayed one of the qualities that shone though at the end of last season - winning the ball back in key areas - to earn another man of the match accolade.
Rowe admits he was initially over-anxious to impress but that has now been put right with the help of his manager.
“You always start off at the beginning of every season with goals that you want to achieve and sometimes you try and achieve them a bit too quick,” said Rowe.
“Taking a step back helps. I had a good chat with the gaffer about the way I wanted to play - I wanted to be more involved and bring the team together, as opposed to being direct as a player.
“Just going back to basics has helped me a lot, remembering where to go and why. I think I’ll see the benefits of that going into the second half of the season.”
He added: “I put a lot of pressure on myself for every game but I enjoy the pressure.
“The bigger the pressure, the more I can get up for a game. That’s the type of player I am.
“Sometimes, though, it was things that I didn’t necessarily have to do.
“Now I appreciate the game a bit better for where we are as a team and a squad, and it’s paying off.”
Rowe hopes Rovers can build momentum over the festive period, starting today at Notts County.
“After a defeat, like the recent one at Plymouth, you always want to go on a long run,” he said.
“We’ve done that quite well, we’ve picked ourselves up quite quickly.
“I think that’s down to the fact we’re always looking to improve, whether we win or lose. We all see that as being important, we stay quite stable after wins and losses.”
He added: “The determination now is to stay in that top three. That’s been our priority since the start of the season.
“There’s been no shying away from it. The fans knew it, the press knew it, we knew we had to be up there.
“There’s no point in us kidding anyone on that that’s not the objective. It’s simple, we need to get promotion this season.
“We keep going about our business quietly and hopefully we can have a good second half to the season.”