FOR Tommy Rowe and several of his Doncaster Rovers team-mates, rewinding the clock back to two years ago is simply not an option.
Rovers may again be looking over their shoulders towards the League One drop zone, just as they were ahead of the run-in during 2015-16, but they are steadfastly focusing on the here and now as opposed to consulting the history books.
It is probably just as well.
This time two years ago Rovers were in freefall, entrenched in a crippling sequence of results which ultimately culminated in the club relinquishing their League One status in awful fashion.
A disastrous 16-match winless run from January 2 to April 16, 2016, proved the horror story of the 2015-16 campaign, with a haul of four points from a possible 48 sending them into a tailspin from which they never recovered as they were relegated to football’s basement division.
Thankfully, Rovers’ vital statistics are not as bad this time around, although they are conscious that they have work to do to preserve their third-tier status, more especially after a run of one victory in their past 11 matches – with ten points taken from the last 33 available.
Should results go against them this weekend and Rovers, currently 16th, could be hovering narrowly above the bottom three ahead of Monday’s Yorkshire derby with Bradford, but Rowe is attending to contemporary matters as opposed to what has passed before.
He said: “For us, we do not look at that. Obviously there will be people, fans and teams who do. But you cannot start looking at it because you can get dragged into things like that and the psychology of it. We just need to take care of the ways we can improve the past performances. That is the only thing we need to worry about now.
“Everyone has got phones and internet these days and it is much easier (to look at past seasons). But when you are professional, you know not to do it. It is your livelihood.
“It is important we learn from what went wrong in situations and the games that we lost. But we are a different team now and what happened (two years ago) almost does not come into our heads.
For us, we do not look at that. Obviously there will be people, fans and teams who do. But you cannot start looking at it because you can get dragged into things like that and the psychology of it.Tommy Rowe
“That is where the experienced players come into the team and help that. We do talk a lot and have chats as groups of players all the time.”
Rovers are set to be handed a dual boost ahead of Monday’s televised meeting with the Bantams with manager Darren Ferguson confident that experienced defender Craig Alcock and Alfie Beestin will both be back in the fray. Alcock aggravated a groin injury which forced him out of last weekend’s draw at Southend, after initially being named in the starting line-up. He was replaced by Matty Blair at short-notice. Beestin has been sidelined since being stretchered off with an ankle ligament injury in the loss at Rotherham United on February 24, but has made great strides in his recovery and should be involved against Bradford.