DONCASTER ROVERS manager Grant McCann has issued a rallying cry in the promotion race, telling his players: “Our season starts now.”
Having dropped out of the top six on Saturday after losing heavily at leaders Luton Town, Rovers host Bristol Rovers tonight knowing a draw will be enough to leapfrog Peterborough United and reclaim the final play-off place.
“We have drawn a line under it,” said McCann about Saturday’s 4-0 defeat at Kenilworth Road, a result that extended his side’s run without a win to seven league games.
“I have told the boys our season starts now. We have got 11 games left.
“We have got to make sure we win a large chunk of the eight to earn the extra three (matches in the play-offs). Then we have got to go and finish the job.”
Rovers’ stumble in form has been untimely. Nevertheless the club remain firmly in the hunt for extending their season beyond May 4 via a run-in that includes five games at the Keepmoat Stadium.
The first of those is tonight against Bristol Rovers, much improved of late with just one defeat in their last 10 league outings.
McCann added: “We have got five games at home and if we win all five we will be in a good position. We have been disappointing away from home in recent weeks, but we know how strong we are at the Keepmoat Stadium.
“So our focus is on these two home games (Walsall head to Doncaster on Saturday).
“There will be doubters, people saying Doncaster Rovers won’t get in the top six, that they won’t make it, but that drives me and it drives the group that we have got.
“We have been hit from pillar to post with people doubting us and they are doubting us again. That is fine, we are okay with that.”
McCann has no fresh injury problems, though he remains without Herbie Kane and Ben Whiteman. He added: “We need to win the game, no sugar coating. We have to make sure we perform and we will be doing all that we can to achieve that.”
Last six games: Doncaster Rovers LDLDDL Bristol Rovers WLWWDD.
Referee: M Coy (County Durham).
Last time: Doncaster Rovers 1 Bristol Rovers 3; January 27, 2018; League One.