Doncaster Rovers boss Grant McCann was in bullish mood ahead of his side’s home clash with Charlton Athletic, declaring: “No wheels have come off here”.
The Northern Irishman also re-emphasised his and his players’ ‘burning desire’ to prove their doubters wrong as they seek to put a disappointing week behind them – and also finish the job of securing a top six finish in League One.
Doncaster lost grip of the game at neighbours Scunthorpe United to only draw last weekend and their slow start at Shrewsbury Town on Tuesday resulted in defeat.
But McCann completely rejects the idea that Rovers have suffered an FA Cup hangover following their fifth round defeat to Crystal Palace a fortnight ago.
“Maybe a little bit of mental fatigue crept in in the second half at Scunthorpe but that’s well gone,” said McCann.
“There’s no time for any fatigue or anyone feeling sorry for themselves.
“We’re right at the business end of the season now so we need to make sure everyone is good and ready to roll their sleeves up and work hard and fight and do what we’ve set out to achieve.
“We’re still in the process of proving a lot of people wrong.
“A lot of people wrote us off at the start of the year. Everyone had us as 18th, 19th, 20th, even relegation.
“We’ve still got that burning inside of us.
“We lose against Shrewsbury and maybe one or two doubters have popped up again thinking ‘have the wheels come off at Doncaster?’
“We’ve lost four games in 21.
“No wheels have come off here.
“We are firmly focused on what we’ve got to do. Our number one aim is to try and get promoted. It hasn’t changed.
“We not scared of saying what we want to try and achieve.
“We have to make sure we keep on doing what we have to do.”
He added: “We’ve got a very fit group of players and I think we’ve shown that over the season in terms of how we’ve played and the goals we’ve scored in the second half of games.
“One game against Crystal Palace – or because we’ve gone further in the cup than the club’s gone for a number of years – doesn’t mean that the wheels have to come off our season.
“It’s two games. It’s an extra two games, that’s all it is.
“We’re really in a good place.
“We want to try and improve. We want to keep ourselves in that top group and there’s no better place to start than Saturday.”
Sixth-placed Rovers would move to within two points of Charlton, in fifth, by beating them.