Doncaster Rovers: Step on the accelerator and build some momentum

Grant McCann has urged his Doncaster Rovers players to put the foot on the accelerator and become League One's momentum side heading into the play-offs.

Thursday, 21st March 2019, 10:59 am

While maintaining he is not at all concerned by Rovers’ run of six games without victory, McCann is keen for his side to get back to winning ways and build a head of steam over the final six weeks of the regular season, first and foremost to secure a top six finish.

“The three times I've been promoted as a player, it's always the momentum that carries you in there," McCann said. “Winning a few games in a row.

“Hopefully that can be us.”

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While accepting the winless run will be highlighted, McCann believes there are plenty of positives in Rovers’ overall form over the last few months.

Sticking to his mantra, positive thinking is something the Northern Irishman is keen to promote.

“Looking back over the last 25 games, we've had 12 wins, eight draws and five defeats,” he said.

“I know a lot of people will focus on the last six games as people always do but in the 12 game phase we only lost three.

“It's turning those five draws into wins. We had four wins, five draws and three defeats. We threw it away at Wycombe, we were disappointing at Shrewsbury and the other one was Wimbledon when he lost John Marquis and were down to ten men.

“I think we've been a tad unlucky as well, especially in some of the games where we've drawn - the Charlton game, we should have won.

“It's easy to focus on Doncaster haven't won in six but we've only lost five in 25.

“It's trying to get that positivity into everyone.

“We'll keep that way in our camp and hopefully people can see that.”

McCann has spoken regularly of splitting the season into 12 game periods before the final stretch of ten matches and setting points targets for each one.

The draw against Blackpool last week marked the end of the third 12 game stint but the swift turnaround for the clash with Barnsley ensured there was no immediate discussions of what Rovers need to do in the final ten matches.

That talk among coaching staff and players was saved until Tuesday this week and, despite Rovers sitting in the final play-off slot with a game in hand, McCann says there is ground to be made up if his side are to secure a top six finish this season.

“We're short of the target,” said.

“We're still in the mix so we'll reset ourselves for the last ten games. Because of the quick turnaround from Blackpool to Barnsley it’s the last nine games.

“We had an open chat with the players this week about what we can achieve really.

“In the three 12 game cycles we haven't been far away from what I want.

“The first one we hit it but the second two we were a bit short.

“We've got a target in our minds now.

“We know how many wins we need and how many points to get us to where we want to be.

“It's going to be difficult – it really is.”

McCann says the reality of Rovers’ situation has set in with the opportunity to book a play-off campaign within their grasp.

And he has been pleased with his players’ reaction to that over the last week or so.

He said: “The boys are looking forward to is.

“It was funny looking at the programme at Blackpool, down the fixtures and seeing there is only a tiny bit left.

“I pointed it out to a few of the boys, looking at that, there's only ten games to go.

“We're right in the mix.

“Let's see if we can put the foot on the accelerator a bit and crack on.”