DONCASTER ROVERS manager Grant McCann is happy to discuss matters relating to the P word – promotion – but another beginning with the same letter is one he would rather avoid.
Namely consistent talk about his old club Peterborough United, who are sitting one place and five points below his Rovers side – with a game in hand – and are viewed as their most direct rivals for the final play-off place.
It is another tough game for us against Plymouth, but as I have said all the time we love playing at home.Grant McCann
With ex-Rovers manager Darren Ferguson managing at London Road and McCann, a former Posh captain and manager, still resident in the nearby town of Stamford, talk of Peterborough is never far away.
But the Doncaster chief is not interested in the omnipresent Posh narrative.
He said: “I have absolutely no interest in Peterborough or the ones below us. The only team I am interested in is us. That is it.
“We have to continue to do what we are doing. We have responded well after the Luton game when a lot of teams could have folded and we have responded really well and manfully and stood up to the challenge.
“We have had two excellent performances at home and a dogged performance away from home at Bradford and now we have got to follow it up against a Plymouth team who can hurt us. If we play like we did at Bradford, they can hurt us.
“Derek Adams’s teams are always hard to play against.”
McCann was delighted awitht his side’s first away league win of 2019 in last weekend’s gritty victory at Valley Parade, but it came with a caveat.
The Northern Irishman, whose demand for high standards have been a consistent theme in his utterances this season, was critical of his side’s poor ball retention and lack of attacking flow and is expecting much better today.
Rovers boast an impressive 12-match unbeaten league run at the Keepmoat Stadium heading into today’s game with Plymouth, with a discernible swagger accompanying their recent comprehensive home performances against Bristol Rovers and Walsall.
Only Luton have scored more home goals so far this season in League One than Rovers, who have lost just twice in 20 Keepmoat games in 2018-19, with the last coming back on October 23 against Sunderland.
With three of their five remaining matches being at home, with Accrington and Coventry also due to visit before the end of the season, McCann admits that further strong performances in front of home supporters are likely to play a pivotal role in rubber-stamping play-off participation next month.
McCann added: “It is another tough game for us against Plymouth, but as I have said all the time we love playing at home.
“Our form has been good and we want to make sure we continue that as, if we do, we have got a very good chance of getting into the top six.”
On the significance of having three of their final games at the Keepmoat, he continued: “It is huge and if we win all three, we are in there. There is no two ways about that and that is the way we see it.”