DAVID Syers believes his month on the sidelines could have been beneficial to both him personally and Rovers’ promotion push.
The midfielder returned last weekend following an ankle injury suffered at Bury, played the full second half of Tuesday night’s win at Shrewsbury and could be set for a starting berth against Hartlepool tomorrow after Paul Keegan suffered a thigh strain.
While frustrated to miss a key point of the season for Rovers, Syers says his time out allowed him to analyse where things were going wrong during the five match winless run.
He said: “Sometimes it’s important to take that step back and be able to watch a game rather than playing match after match and picking up bad habits.
“It’s about taking a step back, having a look at the game, seeing where mistakes are being made and where we’re doing well.
“Of course when you’re out and sitting watching the game, you want to be out on the pitch.
“Hopefully I’ll be fit for the rest of the season, get a few more goals and win promotion.”
After his reflection time, the 25-year-old believes Rovers’ recent blip was down to a slackening of effort throughout the side as they grew comfortable with their strong position in League One.
“I think everyone dropped a little bit, doing the easy things and waiting for someone else to make things happen,” Syers said.
“Rather than working as a team to make chances I think there was an expectation David Cotterill would score a wonder goal or Billy Paynter would nick a chance.
“We’ve got to get back to working together and we’ve done that in the last two games.
“All season we’ve been getting on top of teams, pinning them in, pushing them back and taking the chances when they’ve come.
“Shrewsbury was the perfect model for that and we got back to doing what we do best.
“We’ve had a bit of a wake- up call.”
Personally, Syers is hoping to contribute more goals to Rovers’ campaign on his return to the side.
He has scored five times so far this season but feels he has much more to contribute.
“I played in the first 15 or 20 games before getting injured in December but I was disappointed that I wasn’t scoring goals,” Syers said.
“I couldn’t be too disappointed because the team was doing well.
“I’m looking to have a good run now until the end of the season, score a few more goals and just have a positive impact coming back into the side.
“It’s not just about one or two players because games are coming thick and fast so we all have a major role to play before the end of the season, whether we start or not.”
Syers has asked supporters to manage their expectations for results, particularly given the manner of Rovers’ performances throughout the season.
He said: “What we’ve learned through this period is that some people think because we’re top of the league that we should be beating teams 3-0.
“But we’ve not done that all season. That’s not why we’re where we are.
“We’ve ground results out, been very hard to beat, taken our chances when they’ve come and taken points when they were on offer.
“That’s the position we need to be in again until the end of the season because it’s got us where we are now.
“The three draws we had before Shrewsbury all look disappointing, particularly after the defeat against Bury and Walsall.
“But you can compare them to us going to Swindon early in the season, getting a battling draw after a not very good performance.
“We were talking about that game as a platform and people were talking about the recent run as a disaster.
“It’s just about context.”