Doncaster Rovers: Grant McCann goes backwards to get his side powering forwards in play-off race
Grant McCann has taken it back to the start as he looks to set his Doncaster Rovers players up for their final two vital games of the regular season.
Rovers head to Oxford United on Saturday on the back of consecutive defeats over the Easter weekend which left their hold on sixth spot in League One a slightly more precarious one.
Following Tuesday’s thoroughly disappointing performance in defeat to Accrington Stanley, McCann urged his side to play without fear and enjoy themselves in the last two games.
And he pulled into a meeting all who were present at Cantley Park on Thursday morning to remind everyone what Rovers have already managed to achieve since last summer.
"We stripped it back a little bit and spoke about where we were when I first came in,” McCann said.
"We spoke about our KPIs and what was our goal, our target. A lot of our targets we are reaching.
"And I showed them where we are in the table - this is where we are with two games to go.
"But it's also about what has got us here.
"So we spoke about our values, everything we're about and the way we've approached this season.
"We did it as a whole group - the whole squad, staff included, the U18s, everyone was there.
"We spoke about what has got us here.
"And it's going to take a siege mentality, sticking together, everyone rallying around each other.
"But it's also about knowing we all worked hard to get to this point and we don't want to fall at the last hurdle.
"We're looking forward to these games."
McCann’s desire to push a playing with freedom mantra is not only designed to remove any pressure his players may be feeling – it is also to remind them that they were preached the exact same philosophy at the start of the season.
"What has got us to where we are is the freedom of our play, playing with a smile on our face and looking forward to every challenge, knowing you have got a very good chance of winning,” McCann said.
"We got the boys back in, refreshed and ready to go and we're looking forward to the game.
"It's difficult because you can train well all week and not perform at the weekend.
"It's about delivering on the Saturday.
"The boys have played with that all year, freedom in play and movement, real positivity in their reactions and pressing.
"They've been top drawer.
“They just need to reproduce it for another five games and we're in the Championship.”