Grant McCann says he is ready to let Tommy Rowe off the leash after confessing he has been ‘too nice’ with the Doncaster Rovers skipper.
Rowe has left out of the starting line-up by McCann twice in the opening seven games of the season with the Rovers boss keen to ease him back into action following hamstring surgery in April.
But McCann has come to the realisation that he no longer needs to hold back Rowe, who is almost certain to start in Saturday’s trip to Peterborough United.
“I think Tommy is good as gold,” McCann said. “I think I’ve been too nice with him and I’ve tried to manage him too well.
“I think Tommy needs to play game, game, game, game if we’re going to get the best out of him.
“I had that conversation with him on Thursday morning.
“We sat down, watching his clips from a few games, and he agrees.
“Tommy is good.
“The more games he plays, the better he gets.
“He told me he doesn't starting kicking in properly until September so let's hope he does.”
McCann believes it is now up to Rowe to consign his injury to memory and get back into throwing himself into every game, as he has done since his arrival at Rovers.
The midfielder had missed just one game in two years prior to his injury.
McCann said: “I think psychologically he needs to forget about the injury he had.
“Joe the physio and the medical team have been brilliant with him.
“He needs to just concentrate on his game.
“I’ve told him he’s the captain of the club and everyone is looking to him to perform as well as he can.
“Rowey is a top player.
“He’s one of the top midfield players in this league in my opinion.
“We just need to utilise his strengths, get him higher up the pitch with more goals and more assists.
“I think he's started with two assists and a goal already and I’m sure there is more to come from him.”