Doncaster Rovers: The phonecall that got Grant McCann thinking about omens for the play-off race

When looking to inject a dose of positivity into a team, there are few men in football better to speak to than Nigel Adkins.

Thursday, 25th April 2019, 10:14 am
Updated Thursday, 25th April 2019, 5:28 pm

The Hull City boss is known for his adherence to an optimistic outlook and particular way of thinking when it comes to the game.

Adkins is something of a mentor for Doncaster Rovers manager Grant McCann, dating back to their successful time together at Scunthorpe United a decade ago.

And it was a phonecall on Thursday morning with Adkins that got McCann thinking of positive omens in the race for the play-offs with Rovers at a pivotal stage of their campaign.

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Nigel Adkins

"I always take a bit of advice from managers I have the utmost respect for and Nigel is one of those,” McCann said.

"I was just having a chat with him and he was just reminding me of a run that we had.

“I think we might have been top of the league and then we just slipped off out of the play-offs with six games to go or something.

"We never won for three games and then I think we needed a point against Tranmere to get into the top six.

“Cliffy [Byrne, Rovers assistant boss] scored an equaliser, I remember it so well.

“No one fancied us, our form hadn't been that good but we got in on the last day and went and won the play-offs.

“It's almost like it's coming around again and hopefully that is a good omen.”

McCann has cited Adkins as arguably the most influential individual towards his own managerial career.

And it is a shared mindset that sees McCann pledging a positive mindset after back-to-back defeats weakened his side’s grip on the final play-off place in League One.

"That mentality and that positivity that Nigel drew onto us got us there that season,” he said.

"It's important, like I said after the Accrington game, that we don't throw our toys out of the pram, that no one goes Doncaster are finished, they haven't won two games.

"We're at the stage of the season, as we saw with the Luton and Wimbledon game, that if you're not on your game and you're loose, then you can get hurt.

“We’ve just got to make sure we’re on our game and we approach it with the right mindset.”