Danny Schofield believes enduring the difficult times together will make success all the more enjoyable for Rovers and the supporters.
Plans are underway for next season at the club following the disappointing run of form in the final few months of the current campaign and Schofield is confident more positive results will come next term.
Speaking ahead of the final home league game of the campaign against Colchester United on Saturday, the Rovers head coach was asked about the state he expects his squad to be in come August.
Schofield on the final two games:
“Every game is just as important as every one. Even though it doesn’t look like you’re playing for anything, you are. You’re playing for the supporters, the football club, your careers and to be the best you can be in whatever situation that’s in.
“I know it’s difficult. It’s difficult for everyone at the minute with the form not where it should be and the performances are not where we want them to be. When you go through these difficult periods, we try to create this togetherness to take us through these moments together.
“We suffer together - the supporters, myself, the players and the rest of the staff suffer through these moments together. I know it’s very challenging but when we get through this period and work relentlessly through the off-season to improve the things we’ve talked about, then we can enjoy the successful moments together.
“If you can suffer together and win together, it becomes a powerful connection. I know this is very difficult but this is something I want to drive in this moment. We suffer these moments together, we come through it together, grow in the off-season, prepare for pre-season and have a real good go next season.”
On addressing the mental side of the game:
“When you’re in the run of form that we are, it can be damaging. We always try to remain as positive as possible but it’s difficult with this run of form and the position we’re in. The message to the players is continue trying to be together and fight in the final games of the season.
“I feel there has been an impact since we’ve lost key members of the squad - leaders, players who have been there and have the experience that can always have a positive impact on the other players. We have players playing a number of games for the first time in their careers - playing four or five games consecutively for the first time. It’s always going to be a challenge but it’s also an opportunity for these players to step up and compete and they need to try to do that for these last two games.”
On finishing the season:
“We’ve always got that eye on rebuilding in the off-season and preparing the pre-season to have a really good go in terms of recruitment and preparing the team to be competitive and fight for promotion next season.
“But we’re still in this season. We have two games left and players are still going to get opportunities to play and fight for their individual careers. The best way they can do that is giving their everything for the football club.”
On plans for next season:
“The plan is to strengthen the squad in key areas and we’ve identified those areas that we want to do that in. In the initial part of my tenure, we were competitive and creating chances. We weren’t winning every game but we were in games and the results were balanced. It was about trying to improve that at that moment in time.
“Unfortunately we didn’t do that. The key areas to improve are the squad as a whole, a number of areas of the pitch, to make us more physically competitive, more attacking, add more speed to the team - these are the sort of areas I feel we’ve lacked in the latter part of the season.”
On the current health of the squad:
“It’s pretty much the same players available as it was for the last game.”