Play every game as if it’s your last.
That’s the message Paul Dickov has been driving into his players ahead of this weekend’s M180 derby with Scunthorpe United.
And it’s something, Dickov says, he didn’t see enough of during last weekend’s dismal 3-0 defeat at Walsall.
Ahead of Saturday’s short trip to Glanford Park, Dickov was keen for his players to take stock of their recent disaster in the Midlands.
“Every game is a big game. The players have been told to play every game as if it’s their last,” said Rovers’ boss.
“I know it’s an old cliche but it’s something that’s so true.
“I know, Brian Horton [assistant manager] knows and Paul Gerrard [goalkeeper coach] knows it’s a very short career.
“When you’re playing, you think it’ll last forever and when you finish you realise how quickly it has gone.
“You should train and play every week as if it’s your last.”
On his team’s focus as a whole, Dickov said: “It’s something that’s happening time and time again with us and it’s something we’re working on on the training ground.
“But the players have to be receptive to that on a consistent basis, not when they feel like it.
“It was a shock to the system [the Walsall defeat]. We’ve been good on our travels, our performance was fantastic at Fulham.
“Maybe some of the players think we’re a really good team overnight? It doesn’t work like that.
“If you don’t run harder, work harder and do all the basics right, you’re going to get beat and Walsall did that better than us. That was disappointing.”
He added: “Momentum is a good thing but you’ve got to give yourself a chance to get that momentum.
“We’ve had some really good results and good performances this year, but consistency is beginning to be a problem - now that’s something I’ve got to look at.
“Is it because the players get too carried away after a good result and a good performance? It’s not the first time this has happened this season.
“There’s a little bit of a pattern developing and if I need to change things and freshen it up, then I will.”