Development manager John Schofield felt his side needed to be better without the ball after being beaten 6-0 by an experienced Port Vale side in the Central League Cup.
Two goals each from Anton Forrester and Dan Turner in the second half, along with efforts from Chris Regis and Sean Tuton gave the home side the win, and Schofied believes their quality shone through.
"They did have a lot of experience in their side but for our lads that is the level they have to be looking to get to," he said.
"We're not going to start looking for excuses, we will learn a lot from the defeat and we have to improve and work together.
"Defeats can sometimes teach you more of a lesson than when you win, we will take the good things from the first half and learn from what we didn't do right after half time."
Having gone in level at half time, Schofield was impressed with the determination his side showed in the first half at Vale Park.
"Everything we did first half is what we're all about, we pressed really well and limited them to just a couple of chances," he added.
"The positives in the game for us came before half time, we have to focus on that because we did some really good things.
"You have to make sure that when you're slightly off the pace there isn't a massive drop in standards, our final pass was the only thing we couldn't quite master in the first half."
Rovers return to the Keepmoat Stadium to face Northampton Town on Boxing Day, you can purchase tickets from the Club Doncaster Box Office, on 01302 762576 or at tickets.clubdoncaster.co.uk