Doncaster Rovers boss Grant McCann has challenged his players to keep pace with the frontrunners ahead of back-to-back games against League One’s pacesetters.
Rovers’ next two league games are against the two sides boasting one hundred per cent records.
They host Portsmouth tomorrow and travel to Peterborough United, McCann’s former club, next weekend.
McCann told The Star: “It’s early days isn’t it?
“You should probably judge it after it about 12 games. That’ll give you a better indication of where teams are going to be.
“But saying that, look at Barnsley a couple of years ago in this league. They were in the bottom four in November, December-time and they went on a run to get themselves in the play-offs.
“It’s hard to gauge at any time but you’ve got to make sure you keep yourselves up and around it.
“The longer you can do that, the more the confidence grows and the more the fans believe in what you’re doing and the players start believing in themselves.”
Rovers sit seventh in the early standings and remain unbeaten on home soil.
“We’ve had a good start,” said McCann.
“We’ve had two good wins, a decent point against Shrewsbury and we had enough chances to win the game at Burton.
“We’ve been in every game.
“The next two games are against teams that are unbeaten but we’re focusing on Portsmouth.
“It’ll be a big challenge for us.
“We want to make sure that the Keepmoat is a tough place for visiting teams. No one should be coming here and winning.”
Joe Wright, Herbie Kane and Tommy Rowe have all been passed fit to face Pompey after taking knocks against Shrewsbury on Tuesday night.
On the possibility of adding to his squad before next week’s loan deadline, McCann said yesterday: “We’re close, we should know more today or tomorrow, but it has to be right for us.”