Rovers U18 coach Paul Stancliffe says his players can feel proud of their achievements as they head into the Christmas break top of the table.
Rovers’ youngsters sit first in the EFL Youth Alliance’s north-east division, with a haul of 23 points from their opening 13 league fixtures.
Stancliffe said: “Overall there have been a lot of positives, you have to remember they are young lads who are going to make mistakes at times and what we are looking for is how they react to those mistakes and how they learn from them. In general they’re a good bunch of lads who work hard.
“We’ll have training sessions but they’ll have a few days off as well, some of these lads are in digs and don’t get to see their families in the week. So it’s only right they can spend a bit of time with them at Christmas.”
A 3-2 defeat to rivals Scunthorpe United on Saturday kept the title race well and truly alive, with the young Iron side two points behind Rovers in second but with games in hand.
He added: “We know they are a good team, they played well against us in the away fixture but we didn’t help ourselves because we didn’t work hard enough to play well.
“We didn’t show enough fight until we were 2-0 down, if we’d shown that from the start we might have had a chance but when you’re two down you give yourself one hell of a mountain to climb. Unfortunately we’ve got to wait a few weeks now before we can react to it, normally you can bounce back pretty quickly so we’ve got to stew on that for a bit.”