More from Paul Dickov as he speaks about Rovers 1-0 victory over Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.“We’ve had some illness in the camp this week, a few of the guys were struggling but that’s the character we have in this squad. I thought that togetherness, character and work ethic ran right through the team today.
“It wasn’t the best we’ve played by any means, but sometimes you have to roll your sleeves up, dig deep and get a result which is exactly what we did- I thought the boys were fantastic today.
“They were very much in the game and we know they’re in good form- they were outstanding on Tuesday night and we knew it was going to be a tough game for us. We had to start the game well and not concede early and weather the storm a little bit. But I thought after that we fully deserved the three points.
"In the second half Chris Kirkland pulled off two fantastic saves, and it’s nice to get the three points without playing as well as you know you can do. Sometimes it’s even sweeter when you get three points through sheer hard work and grit and determination.
“The Bournemouth game I feel has been a turning point for us. There was a lot of harsh words said from myself about that defeat, but it’s not just because of that game. We finally have players who are properly fit and I think this is the first time I have been able to pick a consistent team for three games in a row all season, and I think that consistency has shown in the way we’ve played on and off the ball.
“Conditions weren’t great today but I just keep telling the players to keep doing the right things and working as hard as they can and we know we can get a result.
“James Coppinger has been fantastic especially since coming in to cover at right back. And he’s not just been fantastic on the pitch, but he’s fantastic at the training ground as well. Sometimes when you talk about players being top professionals it means they haven’t got as much ability as others and their professionalism makes up for it, but this isn’t the case with James. Technically he’s great and the way he handles himself in and around the training ground is fantastic. He’s an example to everyone at this club. If you need to look at anybody in our squad to see what it takes to make it in football, you look straight at James.
“We took the work load off the players this week deliberately, they had a couple of days off with today in mind. We took it right off them on the physical side of things because we knew that Wednesday were playing Saturday-Tuesday for a few weeks running and we needed to give the players a bit of rest with the view of them absolutely working their socks off against Wednesday for the full 90 minutes.
“The players were at it all game for every single minute today which has shown in the result, so that’s why we decided to take the physical load off them in training.
“We have tough games coming up every single week now. Today was equally as tough- they are a difficult side to play against and put you under lots of pressure, so Tuesday night will be no more difficult than today was.
“What today’s result does do is take the pressure off us a little bit for Tuesday. That doesn’t mean we take our foot off the gas, I still believe there is more to come from the team and with 9 games left, rather than keep their standards where they are at the minute, I want them to improve even more.
“Confidence is growing because we’re picking up results, looking solid and playing good football. In regards to us being safe now, no we’re not. At the end of January we were eight points clear and a couple of weeks later we were right back in the bottom three so we know how quickly you can get sucked back into it, but there is a real determination for that not to happen again."