Jon Taylor is relishing the opportunity to take his time with his return to action for Rovers following his lengthy battle with injury and illness.
The winger says part of his recovery has been accepting that caution needs to be exercised in getting his body back up to speed with the rigours of regular football.
And he admits he has felt the benefits of that in recent weeks, with the ability to join in training every day.
Taylor on his current health and fitness:
“I’ve had the conversation with the manager and Copps [James Coppinger, head of football operations]. I think it’s going to take a while and I think I’ve had to have some realisation on that myself.
“The manager has been great with me since he came in.
“I’ve been out injured and had serious illnesses for the last 18 months. I always think I’m going to be back to the way I was before all these problems. I’m feeling good in training and I’m feeling really good and getting back there but it’s going to take time.”
On coping mentally with his time out:
“Deep down you know what situation you’re in but there were certain situations last year where you want to be out there no matter how much pain you’re in, just to help the team.
“That’s where I needed to have realisation. I must have thought I was going to be some kind of superhero, to come back to save the team with how my body was. There was no chance that was going to happen.
“Seeing the team struggling, you just want to be out there to try to help the club stay out there. I was stupid to think I could rush back and I just ended up getting injured again and getting ill again.
“I came back in pre-season after getting married in the summer and thinking all my injury issues were behind me and really looking forward to it. But I got injured in the first pre-season game and it knocked me back. I came back from that and got injured again.
“I’ve just had to take a step back and have a good few weeks training and the training over the last few weeks has been unbelievable.
“The type of player I am, I need short, sharp match situations in training to get the fitness and sharpness to get my body ready for the movements I need during a match.
“I’m feeling good now.”
On the challenge of facing King’s Lynn Town in the FA Cup this weekend:
“We watched the clips and they play really good football. They’ve got some good players.
“We’ve got to concentrate on ourselves and the gameplan the gaffer sets out. We’ve got to stick to what the gaffer wants us to do and if we look after ourselves, do what we work on every day in training and what we’ve been doing in the games, at home especially with our fans, we’ve got to be confident going into the game.
“It’s an opportunity for them to come to a great stadium and a great pitch and show what they can do.
“They might be thinking that they deserve to play in the EFL and this gives them the opportunity to showcase how good they are. Football is hard and they might have ended up lower down the leagues for situations that might not have been their fault.”
On the first few weeks under new head coach Danny Schofield:
“It’s been unbelievable. His attention to detail is probably one of the best I’ve had throughout my career.
“We’ve got a clear way of playing that the lads are fully invested in and trust and believe in it.
“We’re seeing every day in training that it works. It’s enjoyable and I’m looking forward to hopefully playing more minutes under the gaffer and with this team, the way they’re playing.”
On the magical moment with Rio Spurr at half time against Gillingham:
“It was unbelievable.
“Tommy [Spurr] messaged me after the game to say thanks and I said sorry to him because I was unaware of the situation regarding Rio.
“I came out at half time and saw a few of the lads playing football with Rio and I was drawn to him straight away. We were just playing passes with the lads and Rio and I asked him if he wanted to go and score a goal.
“It was just a normal thing but the outcome from that was unbelievable and one of the best feelings I’ve ever had.
“The fans played an unbelievable part - singing his name and cheering when he scored.
“For Rio to run back to his dad and his dad to be able to see him so happy was unbelievable. Tommy messaged me to say thank you for creating a memory he’ll never forget.
“I went home and told my wife it was one of the best feelings I’d ever had.”