Brian Flynn spoke to Rovers Player, ahead of the visit of Carlisle United this evening, and said that everybody is loving life at the top and that his team will 'finish with a sprint'.
“We all have enjoyed being top of the league,” he said
“The pressure is relieved slightly if you are comfortable in the position you’re in. We’ve been ticking over in many ways because the group is well balanced, well disciplined and know their jobs.
“Managing them is just a matter of adding one or two little things here and there."
One word that has been ever-present this campaign is continuity.
“Over the last five games we’ve not had many changes, which is another key component to getting successes – continuity in team selection.
“The important thing is that when you do make a change in the team selection the players are fully aware of the reasons behind why you have done it. I’m open with them all, I tell them the day before we play what the team is going to be. I speak to the players that may not be playing and explain the situation and they’re happy with that.”
Another key element that Brain has pin pointed for his team’s success is that goals are spread across most departments.
“I’ve given them the licence to thrill and to excite people especially going forward and we’ve shown that. Being top people want to stop you playing, make it difficult for you and want to beat you so we’ve had to contend with that; because we have got the type of players that we have got we’ve been able to overcome it.
“We can score from most departments as we proved with our two centre halves scoring the winners in the last two games. Set plays are really important and being better at them is something we’ve worked on to make us successful.
“When you say ‘grinding’ out results, it doesn’t sound a very nice word, but it’s a professional word. It’s been complimentary to us that we’ve been really professional and prepared to be patient. We believe if it doesn’t happen in the first 5 minutes it might happen in the final 5 minutes and that’s been proved alot in games this season where we’ve won games late on.
“The key element is to stay calm and enjoy the football as much as you possibly can because that relieves a bit of pressure. They’re all happy here as you can see they’ve got smiles on their face which tells a thousand stories.
“People say the closer you get [to the end of the season] the harder it becomes. I would agree with it in a way but I think it becomes better because you’re a step closer to the finishing line and people are still chasing you.
“We’ve done some chasing this year too and we’ve chased down well. At one stage there was a seven point gap between us and top and within the space of a month that disappeared. Now we’ve been at the top for around seven weeks and we’re still there - I’m confident we can stay there.
“To be at the top in the final furlong is all that matters. We’ve still got something left to give; I’ve said we will finish with a sprint and I’m sure we will do.”
On our opponents Brian said: “It’s going to be a different type of game against Carlisle because they are safe now. Gregg [Abbott] has done particularly well there they looked as though they were struggling at one stage but now they can come into the game relaxed.
“They’re a good young side who are well organised and play 4-3-3 in possession. Their striker Lee Miller is a good player and they’ve got some young, energetic fresh legs in midfield so it’s a decent combination.
"There will be a different element to this game than there was against Swindon and Tranmere - they both came here with more to lose.”