Caretaker manager Gary McSheffrey spoke to the media ahead of Rovers’ home match against Sunderland at the Eco-Power Stadium on December 27.
The visitors will arrive on Monday fresh from a Carabao Cup quarter-final against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in midweek while Rovers haven’t been in action since their win over Shrewsbury Town on December 11.
“I’ve tried to instil into the players that, yes, let’s try and play attractive football but let’s not overplay or pass the ball to a team-mate for the sake of it. Let’s pass with purpose
“Between the boxes, we play nice football at times, but we still need killer instinct and more urgency to get in behind the opposition.
“We’ve tried to up the intensity and bring about a realism when it comes to trying to win games.”
On Christmas fixtures:
“Christmas games are always good.
“I used to love going to them as a fan, and I used to love playing in them. There will be a buzz about the place, we’ve got a top team coming to play us with a lot of a travelling fans so it’ll be a good occasion and one that the players will thrive on.
“Hopefully the big crowd and the occasion gets the best out of our players.”
“Sunderland have got quality all over the pitch. They’ve got pace and they’ve got some clever players in attacking positions and aggressive defenders.
“They’ve hit some good form in the league."