JAMIE McCOMBE is refusing to talk up Doncaster Rovers’ top-six prospects – and it is nothing to do with his own decidedly chequered play-off history either.
The defender has been involved in the end-of-season lottery seven times and has been denied the prize of promotion on six occasions – his sole success coming when he was part of the Huddersfield Town squad who went up to the Championship at Sheffield United’s expense in a Wembley penalty shoot-out in 2011-12.
It may have almost exclusively been a tale of woe for the 32-year-old, but the prospect of adding to his hat-trick of promotions to the second-tier, having gone up automatically with Bristol City in 2006-07 and Rovers in 2012-13, could still beckon.
But as McCombe acknowledges, Rovers have plenty to do yet before extending their season.
McCombe, who has lost out in play-off finals with the Robins, Huddersfield and Lincoln City and two semi-finals with the Red Imps and one with Scunthorpe United, said: “It is the best way to go up if you can and it is something we are all striving for.
“But I have been here many a time and it can swallow people up and you need to just focus week-to-week and game-to-game.
“Before you know it, the season will be coming to an end and we will be right in the shake-up.
“There’s a long way to go and there will be a lot of twists and turns yet.”
Meanwhile, Paul Dickov admits he would have taken Rovers’ current posiiton of seventh in League One ‘all day long’ back in August as his side embark on the home straight in the final two months of the campaign.
The Rovers chief said: “I am delighted were we are and all credit has to do to the players as they have had a lot of criticism thrown at them and they have really got themselves together and are giving a good fist of it.”