Tommy Rowe says the ability of Doncaster Rovers’ players to think on their feet has helped put them in pole position in League Two.
One of boss Darren Ferguson’s big criticism’s last season, when Rovers inexplicably slipped out of League One, was the way his squad often failed to react in the face adversity.
But, ahead of tonight’s top versus bottom clash at Newport County, midfielder Rowe says there have been no such problems en route to the League Two summit.
“The gaffer’s said all along that what’s been most pleasing is the way we have dealt with on-the-field problems - as opposed to waiting until the game’s finished and then de-briefing,” said Rowe.
“We’ve either changed it or kept our normal approach and kept plugging away and playing the way we want to without panicking or without thinking ‘what do we do now?’
“There’s been three, four, five times recently I can remember we’ve done that and I think the gaffer will tell you that’s one of the most pleasing things when the players work it out for themselves on the pitch.
“It’s been great to see.”
He added: “We watch a lot of videos and clips, there’s a lot of talking and digesting information, so it’s not something that’s just thrown at us. It’s something we love to do, we like to discuss things and work things out.
“The manager made that point about working things out for yourself early in the season and he’s since seen it come to fruition.”
One thing Rovers will have to get to grips with quickly tonight is the horrendous state of the Rodney Parade pitch.
“It’s not so much about the pitch, it’s about what we do on it,” said Rowe.
“That’s where the information we’ve had from the staff throughout the week has been very important. It’s been a case of listening to that and taking it on board.
“It’s something we do very well as a group. Our concentration, in terms of the finer things, has got us to where we are today. It’s an important week to concentrate and stay focused on exactly what we’ve been told information-wise.”
He added: “We always want to play our own game, we want to pass the ball.
“You can get caught up in playing the way a team wants you to play, which would fall into their hands. We’re too experienced to fall into that trap, you’d like to think.
“But we know it’s going to be a difficult game. We know the surface isn’t great, but it comes down to concentration and dealing with the pressure on the day. We know it’s a pitch you can’t take chances on, so it’s about us being intelligent and football-savvy.”