Gary McSheffrey says there must be a collective acceptance of responsibility as Rovers edged closer to relegation from Sky Bet League One.
Rovers staged a remarkable comeback from 3-0 down at half time to draw 3-3 at Shrewsbury Town on Bank Holiday Monday, with Kyle Knoyle netting an injury time equaliser after Mipo Odubeko and Reo Griffiths reduced the deficit.
The result left Rovers six points from safety with six points left to play for. To survive they would need a string of results to go in their favour, plus a considerable swing in goal difference.
McSheffrey was pleased with the second half response at Montgomery Waters Meadow but conversation quickly turned to assessing the reasons for Rovers’ plight this season.
On Rovers’ current situation:
“We need a big change in goal difference and for other teams to lose.
“It’s going to be difficult but miracles have happened before.”
On how the game played out:
“It was a poor first half. I couldn’t put my finger on it but it looked off the pace and a bit leggy. They out-ran us, were on the front foot more.
“We had some words at half time, tweaked it a bit tactically, made a substitution and came out well. We had a good half of football, scored three goals to come back from three down. It was a good result really and we had opportunities to get a third before we did.
“Don’t get me wrong, Johnny had to make a couple of good saves when they played on the counter attack.
“Ultimately at half time I asked for a response and I got that. We got a good second half performance.”
On where things have gone wrong this season:
“Everybody has to shoulder the responsibility. Everybody.
“Myself, the players, everybody at the club.
“There was probably quite a few things went wrong early on. I think we could have recruited a bit more wisely and a bit earlier.
“Covid didn’t help with the pre-season and we had to play youngsters a lot of times to fill the numbers.
“The injuries have been massive to key players. You’ve seen how well we can play in the last four games when we get a couple of key players back on the pitch.
“It’s an accumulation of a lot of things but ultimately we’ve not been good enough.
“We have to be accountable for that and take responsibility.
“We’ve still had enough opportunities to get out of this.”
On his own future as Rovers boss:
“Deep down behind the scenes I feel I’m the right man to get this club going again.
“It’s started. There’s a lot of stuff that has started behind the scenes and people only see what happens on a Saturday.
“I get that, and if results and performances aren’t good enough I take that on the chin.
“However, there is a lot of rebuilding being done, and restructuring. I think a lot of areas were being neglected.
“I’m addressing that and making it right.”
On a lack of goals costing Rovers:
“There’s no secret that results haven’t been good enough.
“You need people to put the ball in the net.
“Probably bar five or six of the games I’ve been in charge for where there’s been big scorelines and a couple of games in March where we didn’t turn up, we’ve been competitive in every game.
“We’ve fallen short most of the time because of not taking chances, not putting the ball in the back of the net.
“I feel that I’ve put a team out there that has competed in most games barring four or five big defeats we had in that period.
“I still see progression but there’s no secret about what we need to address.”