Danny Schofield has learned enough in his short time with the Rovers squad to have no worries about their mentality heading into a match against a side struggling for form.
Speaking to the media ahead of Saturday’s trip to Colchester United in Sky Bet League Two, the head coach declared his confidence in the players not losing focus this weekend.
Schofield on the health of the squad:
“Both Tommy Rowe and Joseph Olowu have trained fine.
“With Joseph, we’ve been monitoring his heading with the problem with his eye socket and cheekbone. He’s not been exposed to too much of that but he was today and he’s been fine.
“Tommy has trained fine.
“Tom Anderson was fine after the weekend. We monitored him over Sunday and Monday to make sure he was okay to train Tuesday at a good intensity and he’s all good to go.
‘Touch wood, we’re pretty good in terms of the number of players out injured. We’re pretty much returning to a fully fit squad apart from Ollie Younger, which is what I want.
“It’s competitive and I’m assessing and evaluating players every day in training, looking at what players can make an impact against a certain type of opponent.”
On the performance at Grimsby last weekend:
“It was a difficult result and performance against King’s Lynn in the FA Cup but I saw a really good response from the players on the Monday. The week was really positive leading up to the Grimsby game.
“I felt there was a really good energy and a good belief in the players. It was really pleasing.
“The players showed the levels they are capable of. We know what football is like - you can be riding on the crest of a wave for a while and then it just crashes. It’s ups and downs.
“The most impressive thing for me was how the players responded mentally and physically and then implemented the game plan we put to them.”
On his own approach to man management:
“I think it’s always trying to instil positivity and belief into what we do. If there’s no belief and you don’t really buy into it, it’s really difficult to actually implement it and get the product of a good performance.
“You can see it in the training and how they interact in the analysis meetings that they have that belief. They’re also open to questioning things, which is really good, and challenge me and my staff. Ultimately they’re the ones playing the game so there’s certain details they can bring if they’re comfortable in a certain area.
“We’ve worked on set plays and they can have a big input in that in terms of how they feel we can be better from set plays. I welcome that.
“Having been a player myself, I think having a voice can be quite powerful in terms of you having ownership of your career.
“I always speak about processes and creating frameworks. As a coach, you create the framework of how you want to play football and do things but definitely with players adding to that. We’ve got talented footballers here and players with lots of experience and I think they can add to that process as well.”
On the run of matches against sides in the bottom half of League Two:
“I don’t really look at fixtures based on where teams are in the table. We’ve got Colchester next and I think they were the better team against Crewe. I thought they deserved more than what they got.
“It’s going to be a really competitive game and we focus on each game being as important as the rest. We’ve won the last two league games and we’ll look to build on that with another positive result on Saturday.
“I don’t think players consciously drift mentally from the importance of each game. We understand each game is as important as the next, whether it’s a cup game or a league game.
“We try to create that in training as well every day. The important thing is to live in the present and give everything to that certain moment.
“There’s no worries on that with the players. I know these players now as people and I think they’ve got good mindsets and outlooks on how they want the game to be.”
On George Miller’s goalscoring run:
“I think he’s an important part of our squad - to have that number nine who not only scores goals but leads the line as well in terms of pressing, which I’ve tried to implement on the team. He leads that and is very important.
“I think he’s a really good character. He has really good leadership skills and as well as his goals, he adds a lot of value to our squad.
“We work with the players a lot individually and I’d probably have to credit Paul Green because he’s been working with George quite a bit on his clips and individual movement.
“There’s a plan individually for all the players and we all contribute towards what is best for them with the clips they see to try to add more detail to their game.
“I’m not saying that is behind George’s form. He’s obviously had his journey in the game to get him to the level he is at now. It’s down to us now to help George get to that next level and we’ll do that with on the pitch coaching and off the pitch coaching.”