Danny Schofield on how Doncaster Rovers can learn from Huddersfield Town's 'heated discussions'

Danny Schofield was part of a Huddersfield Town coaching staff who had some "heated discussions" about the direction of the team after Carlos Corberan's first season.

He says Doncaster Rovers need the same but cannot wait until the end of a disappointing campaign.

Under-fire Schofield takes his team to Gillingham on Good Friday looking for only a second win in nine matches. He knows it is not good enough, particularly after the double-edged sword of owner Terry Bramall promising more backing in next summer's transfer market but expecting promotion in return.

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Schofield was Corberan's assistant when the Terriers avoided relegation in 2020-21 then reached the following year's Championship play-off final.

"There was lots of discussions at the end of the season, we had a full week where we discussed how we wanted to go, things we were going to prepare, how improvement looks, how the sessions looked, to leave no stone unturned," he recalled.

"There was a big shift and a lot of open conversations and heated discussions and I think that's how it needs to be to improve.

"Are we ever going to be perfect? Probably not, but we've got to strive for that and if you're not open enough to learn and try and improve from what's gone, good or not so good, you're missing a trick.

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"There will be lots of areas we want to improve on and about how we're going to do that.

LESSONS: Doncaster Rovers coach Danny SchofieldLESSONS: Doncaster Rovers coach Danny Schofield
LESSONS: Doncaster Rovers coach Danny Schofield

"The reflection process has to be continuous and regular but really constructive and straight to the point. It can't take hours because the games come thick and fast and you're preparing for the next one.

"We need to identify where we can improve and try to implement it.

"It's assessing previous performances and looking at where we feel we've fallen short. We've conceded some goals which can be avoided, there have been some mistakes in there. They happen in football but how can we reduce those mistakes?

"We feel like we can have an effect on that.

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"In terms of the foundation of things, that's been a key area – minimising the chances we concede through our errors by putting our players in positions where they're making those errors.

"Then it's how can we be more effective in terms of creating chances and when we are in the attacking third how can we be more balanced in terms of stopping the counter-attacks, which is an area where we've suffered in games this season.

"There's always specific areas we like to focus on."

Centre-back Joseph Olowu's hamstring injury last weekend has been assessed as a grade two tear which will certainly keep him out of the Easter programme and leaves him running out of time to play again this season, the latest bad news in a season full of it.

More positive was a statement from Bramall promising "a major injection of funds into the playing budget" in the summer after head of football operations James Coppinger told The Yorkshire Post recently that contrary to previous indications from the boardroom his club had "the average League Two budget".

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Schofield is yet to convince most Rovers fans he is the man for the job and the investment will increase the pressure on him, with chairman David Blunt greeting Bramall's announcement by saying: “With the finances available, there should be no reason why the club cannot be challenging for promotion next season.

"Danny understands the level of financial support that has been offered and is confident that it is at a level that can achieve that objective."

Last six games: Gillingham LWWLWD; Doncaster Rovers LWLDLLReferee: D Whitestone (Northampton)Last time: Gillingham 0 Doncaster Rovers 0, October 19, 2021, League One