WHEN it comes to Christmas and New Year wishes, manager Darren Ferguson is not shying away from what he ideally wants for Doncaster Rovers – and neither is Tommy Rowe.
The boss and his influential Rovers midfield player are singing from the same hymn sheet and while promotion is the be-all and end-all – with Rowe desperate to ensure that his stint in League Two is a short one – the title is the thing after which both truly hanker.
Rovers are firmly in the mix for both and the pressure to achieve one, or hopefully both, and last the course in a season when promotion has been described as a ‘non-negotiable’ by the club is something on which Rowe says that he thrives.
Rowe, back to his best in last weekend’s encounter with Grimsby, said: “I put a lot of pressure on myself for every game and I enjoy that.
“I love the pressure and I am the type of player who gets more up for the game, if the pressure is mounting.
“Winning the league is not the objective, promotion is. But, to me, it holds tight closely to me and any player would want to win the league.
“We need to go to the next level and the club deserves to be there. But who would not want to win the league? When you are playing for it, go for it.
“There is no point being in it if you are not going to try and win something.”
For Rovers to give themselves the best chance of achieving that, Rowe admits that there remains one area to address – namely the club’s away form – ahead of back-to-back trips to Notts County and Mansfield.
A total of five wins and five losses from 10 games is by no means calamitous, but Rowe believes it needs to improve if Rovers are to nail down an automatic promotion position.
Statistics bear out the viewpoint with Rovers’ tally of 15 points on the road being some way behind their current haul of 27 points on home soil.
Rowe, signed from Wolves in May and promoted twice in his career, said: “We have been so strong at home, but we still need to improve and find the right formula for the away games.
“It is coming. Performances have been there. It is just the final third which we know we can improve in as we have scored so many goals.”