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Schofield calling for collective fight against Harrogate

13 April 2023

Interviews

Schofield calling for collective fight against Harrogate

13 April 2023

Danny Schofield says Rovers will need to be collectively switched on to see off the challenge of Harrogate Town on Saturday.

Rovers will make their first ever competitive visit to the EnviroVent Stadium this weekend, facing a Harrogate side hunting for points in their bid for survival in Sky Bet League Two.

Schofield on the test of Harrogate:

“We know how competitive it will be. They’re a team that are very collective, very knit together. Their form is really good and they don’t lose many games so it shows how defensively strong they are. They have players in attack who can cause problems as well.

“We need to make sure our gameplan is collective in the way we press and how we can impact in attack to score goals.”

On Ben Nelson:

“It was a bit of worry, the way he came off against Grimsby. He was stretchered off and went straight to Doncaster Royal Infirmary where he was scanned and he got the all-clear. It’s really good news.

“He’s not trained in the last couple of days and he’ll do some light work building up to Saturday but we’re quite confidence he’ll be available.”

On the pledge of additional funds from owner Terry Bramall:

“With the statement that Terry issued, there will be scope to bring players in and recruit in the summer. It’s exciting times.

“It’s always about looking to strengthen the squad. How can they complement and improve what we have already and add to it? There’s been a variety of players that we’ve been identifying over the last few weeks.

“We’re always having discussions. A real positive at this club is that we’re really collaborative and the lines of communication are really good. That’s the way to make successful progression.”

On the work that needs to be done on the squad for next season:

“There’s a number of players out of contract and a number of players that have been injured and not played many minutes. These are part of the recruitment discussions in terms of which players we keep at the club, which we release and then the ones we want to add.”

On what he feels is missing from the squad currently:

“I think it’s the squad depth. We’ve had a lot of injuries as of late and you want players to come in and replace the ones that have started most of the games.

“When form was good, performances were at a level that meant we could come out with positive results. The feeling was that we were missing good chances. The stats were really good on expected goals and these kind of things so it was about the quality in front of goal and the final action.

“The form has come away from that in the last eight or nine games which is disappointing. But when we were playing and performing, it was the final moment and final action to score the goal and this something we’ll be looking to improve in the summer.”

On adapting the playing style:

“I think it’s a skill of the coach to be able to adapt to player availability, player capability, the game plan and the opposition. In the last two games against Gillingham and Grimsby, I feel we have adapted certain moments of the game and it’s allowed us to be more competitive with the personnel we had available on the pitch.

“The performances in terms of us being at that competitive level have increased. We haven’t got the results we have wanted but I’ve seen signs where we’ve been in that game. The two goals we conceded against Grimsby were poor and we’d been winning the game up to the 85th minute.

“It’s something we’ve discussed, we’ve implemented in the training sessions and discussed with the players about how we can be more competitive against a particular opponent at a particular time.

“The physicality side is an area that I’ve identified and it will be part of the recruitment process. We do want to improve the squad’s physical capability, whether it’s speed, duels, change of direction or things like that. We do want the team to grow.”

On seeking to avoid individual errors:

“It’s about highlighting the mistake when you’re analysing and reviewing the game as much as possible. And highlighting the areas where the mistake is coming from. Sometimes it can be losing possession in a certain area of the pitch and the ball then coming directly into the box. The game is decided by what happens in both boxes so it’s about identifying the areas and trying to reduce the mistakes, as well as defending or attacking those key moments better.”

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