Doncaster Rovers: Paul Downing on his own future and why experience will count in race for play-offs
Paul Downing is determined to put his promotion experience into practice to help Doncaster Rovers get their play-off push back on track.
The on-loan centre half won promotion from League One a year ago with parent club Blackburn Rovers finishing second.
And he feels the ability to call upon any experience within the Doncaster camp will stand them in good stead as they look to cross the finishing line in the race for sixth spot.
“That will be massive,” he told the Free Press.
“I feel like you can draw on those experiences.
“We’ve got a good group in the changing room.
“The manager has been promoted as well so we’ve got a lot of know-how in there.
“We’ll stay calm and we’re fully focused.
“We believe we can get over the finishing line and we’ve just got to show that in games.
“We need to put these two games behind us and look forward.”
Back to back defeats have halted Rovers’ progress towards securing the final play-off place in League One.
But Downing says there will be a collective effort to ensure they are well placed to take what they need from the final two league matches against Oxford United and Coventry City.
“I think everyone is always helping each other,” he said.
“There are a lot of vocal people in the changing room and on the training ground.
“We’ll speak about it, see where we can improve.
“We know that we’ve got to put this behind us and get looking forward.
“There’s not anything we can do about it.
“We’ll do a debrief and look ahead to the next one.”
Able to reflect on a positive loan experience so far, Downing insists he has enjoyed his time at the Keepmoat but is determined to cap it with a play-off campaign.
“I’ve loved it,” he said.
“I’ve played a lot of games which I wanted to do.
“I’ve had some good performances and good results.
“We’ve got good competition for places at centre half and all over the pitch which is a bonus because it keeps everyone making sure they’re performing.
“I’m really enjoying it and looking forward to carrying it on until the end f the season and concentrate on putting in solid performances, get back to keeping clean sheets, keep doing my job and helping the team perform.”
Beyond the end of the season is something Downing insists he is yet to seriously ponder.
His contract at parent club Blackburn Rovers is set to expire in the summer though the Lancashire outfit do have the option of activating another year on the deal.
He has spoken previously of an openness to moving to the Keepmoat on a permanent basis but says there are more important matters to deal with before any discussions begin.
“Definitely not,” he said when asked if he had given thought to his future.
“There is still a lot of focus left on the final games of the season.
“I’m sure my future will get decided on in the summer.
“I’m pretty calm about that and it’s important that we focus on the games we have left.
“And the people who deal with that can deal with it.
“I’ll just focus in the football.”