Doncaster Rovers 'have realised where they are' according to John Bostock

It was meant to be the exciting start to a new era for Doncaster Rovers but the first few months of the season have been a sobering affair.

Thursday, 21st October 2021, 5:00 am
John Bostock slides in for a challenge against MK Dons. Picture: Andrew Roe/AHPIX

And John Bostock admits it has taken time for the magnitude of Rovers’ current plight to sink in for the squad.

Rovers have won just twice in their opening 12 matches in League One, leaving them at the foot of the division.

Midfielder Bostock says the run of form has been difficult to accept for the group, who naturally saw themselves as a technically gifted group that should be competing much higher up the table.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

But he believes that the mindset has shifted in recent weeks as the reality of the situation has set in.

“Before, because of the quality we’ve got in the team, we kind of felt like we should be where we weren’t,” Bostock said.

“Mentally I think we had to get over that hill and realise this is where we are and let’s fight and build from where we are.

“Let’s not fool ourselves - we’re bottom of the table at the moment and it’s going to take a big effort to pick up points.

“Against MK Dons, that’s where we felt a bit of a lift. Then there was the international break and a bit of a pause and a couple of knocks to lose a couple of bodies.

“You have to take the rough with the smooth. We’ve taken a lot of rough so far and hopefully there are more smooth days to come.”

The 29-year-old says it was a collective reflection on why the wins have not been coming for Rovers which brought the shift in mindset.

And he insists the squad are now under no illusions that they must first earn the right to allow their technical qualities to shine.

He told the Free Press: “I think we were looking for answers. Why is it going like this?

“The staff were reviewing how they were addressing things, how we were.

“We just had to look at the table and think ‘this is where we are, let’s go back to the basics.’

“One manager told me a long time ago that when teams and players have the ability, you have to work harder to show it. You have to almost earn the right to play.

“I’ve seen that come true in my career so much.

“I think because we’ve got such a talented team that can really play football so well, that's not the hard part. It’s the other part.

“Just trying to get to that mentally as well on the pitch physically.

“When you get that mental side of it, accept where you are and fight for every point - not that we weren’t before - but understand it’s a fight to get there and we’re not just going to turn it around with one game.

“I think the staff and players have been really humble to know we have to work together on this and it’s going to be a big effort.”


In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.