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Clayton confident Rovers will bounce back strongly from disappointment

21 April 2022

Adam Clayton feels Rovers can carry good work from recent weeks into next season as the squad looks to bounce back from a disappointing season.

The experienced midfielder was heartened by the manner of the fightback at Shrewsbury Town on Monday and believes there are strong foundations on which to build positively over the summer.

Rovers host Burton Albion in the final home game of the season at the Eco-Power Stadium on Saturday and Clayton insists they will approach the game with full professionalism.

Clayton on being a vocal member of the squad:

“I wouldn’t say I’ve had to rally anyone. Maybe give the odd idea or input to.

“In terms of attitude and application, I’ve not had to do anything on that side. It’s a very hard working group and a group that is learning every day - including me and the staff.

“Everyone is learning and getting better every day. There’s a lot of good things going on at the training ground, on the pitch, and we’ve got to take that into next season to try to bounce back from this disappointment.”

On being committed to helping Rovers’ turnaround:

“I made the choice to come to Doncaster and the aim was to get the club back to the Championship. I know it’s a long way from there but that is still the long term aim.

“I feel very much at home. I love coming into work. It’s a great group of lads, good manager, good staff. The sessions are only getting better and we’ve added quality to the coaching staff and you can see that every day.

“Everything around the place is getting better, the performances are getting better and the manager’s own stamp is coming into the team.

“We’ve been very good on the ball in the last few games. There’s a lot of good going on, within a bad situation, but I think that is an accumulation of many things throughout the season that got us into a situation that was very tough to get out of.

“We’ve had a good go and we’ll take all the good that we have learned and take it into next season and start the journey back to the Championship because that’s why we came.

“I couldn’t be prouder of playing for Doncaster and the efforts the lads have made.

“Now I’m looking around the team at certain individuals who I know I can go into the trenches with, whereas before I might not have known. Saturday was a real eye-opener to characters who are going to help the club moving forward.

“The aim was to stay up, we could have done it, it’s very disappointing but these things in life happen and we’ve got to go again.

“Hopefully we can have a good year next year and start this club on the journey back to where they deserve to be.”

On recovering for next season:

“We’ve got a young manager who I believe is getting better every day - every meeting, every session, you can see he’s more controlled and more confident in his own work.

“He’s improving, he’s finding out what is good and bad, getting his feet under the table.

“In the last three or four weeks I think you’ve seen the real manager that he’s going to be.

“The team has played really well. We came back from the first half at Shrewsbury. The manager’s talk at half time and everything about that is improving.

“If you give this squad, this team, this manager, this staff a full pre-season, it would challenge in League One.

“I’m very confident for next year. I think we’ve got a good group of players that are staying, a good core so if we can add four or five good players to that and get a good pre-season in under the manager, Steve [Eyre] and the coaching staff, I can’t see anything other than a successful season as long as we know we’ve got to put in 100 per cent every day and not take anything for granted.

“We’ve got the tools we need to respond to this disappointment and get the confidence back.

“I think this team with confidence and with the structure of a year playing together, it can do what it wants to.”

On the final two games:

“We’ve got to go into them as professionally as possible, which I think we will do, with an attitude that we don’t lose.

“There’s no point just turning up, we’re in the situation that we’re in.

“These last two games will show me, will show the manager who is going to be up for the fight next year, who wants it.

“I didn’t play for 14 months, I’ve played the last five games and I can’t wait for Saturday to play another game.

“You have to go into every game thinking it could be your last and try as hard as you can.

“I’ll have my daughter in the crowd, my mum and dad too and I can’t not try 100 per cent when they’re watching.

“All the boys will take that attitude into it and give their all.”

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