Paul Dickov column: Something had to change at Doncaster Rovers

Luke McCullough celebrates his goal against Bristol City
Luke McCullough celebrates his goal against Bristol City

I will continue to say that there is more to come from my team but I can’t fail to be pleased with the manner of the performances in recent weeks.

We wanted to start the year in a strong position and seven points from nine helped us do that. We have a real platform to build on now.

Whenever a team has a strong upturn or downturn in form, managers and players are always asked why things have changed.

In our situation, the plain and simple answer is that it had to change. And to the immense credit of the lads, it has so far.

Much of that has been down to workrate and making sure the effort is strong throughout the team and consistently so.

Whether it was me speaking to them about it, giving them a rollicking or whatever way you want to take it, the most pleasing thing has been the workrate the players have produced.

You can talk about formations, tactics and everything else until you are blue in the face. But if you don’t have the players who are willing to run themselves into the ground for you, none of it really matters.

We have had that from everybody, consistently over the last month where we probably only had it in dribs and drabs before that, which was not good enough.

Now I can rely on there being someone waiting who can put in the same effort if I have to bringing someone off after 70 minutes because they’ve got nothing left.

In terms of a turning point, people will look at the defeat against Gillingham, which came right before our good run.

But I still look back at the game and wonder how on earth we didn’t win it comfortably. Anyone who saw it, I’m sure would say the same thing.

We created more chances in that game than in any other game this season and we ended up losing 2-1 because we switched off when on top and got sloppy.

The one thing that did come out of the game was that it highlighted just how important concentration is.

We have worked really hard on keeping our focus, no matter what situation we might find ourselves during a game and whether we’re on top or not.

Stay alert and the hard work you put in will pay off.

Concentration is everything.