Doncaster Rovers v Grimsby Town: Zain Westbrooke can tell team-mates why they must not let up

The League Two table will tell you Doncaster Rovers have nothing to play for this season. Zain Westbrooke will tell you otherwise.

With seven defeats and one win in 10 matches, it feels like Rovers' 2022-23 finished long ago. Past the 50-point mark and settled in mid-table, they are clear enough of danger not to have to look down.

But Westbrooke's message to his team-mates is they must be on their game or risk being left behind. Only contracted until the summer, the 26-year-old midfielder has plenty of motivation at home to Grimsby Town on Monday but experience tells him no one can take things for granted.

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Before Doncaster took him on in March, Westbrooke had two months out of work after being frozen out then released at Bristol Rovers for what he calls "politics".

PERSPECTIVE: Doncaster Rovers midfielder Zain WestbrookePERSPECTIVE: Doncaster Rovers midfielder Zain Westbrooke
PERSPECTIVE: Doncaster Rovers midfielder Zain Westbrooke

"There's never nothing to play and the gaffer's been reiterating that since I came here," says Westbrooke, who made his first start in Friday's 1-0 defeat at Gillingham.

"Football can change so quickly and your career can be decided by one performance.

"Players need to focus on putting in 100 per cent every single day to make sure they are with Doncaster next season. Doncaster will be either in League Two or hopefully League One but that doesn't mean every player will be them on that journey.

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"Look how quickly your career can change. Mine definitely did.

"I was at a very high point and felt reasonably untouchable in my confidence. Suddenly it gets ripped away and every day you're trying to get that feeling back. It's a lot harder to gain than lose.

"So if the boys can talk to me and see what the other side of football can be, that would make anyone get that hunger back."