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McCann: We're close to being real contenders

14 December 2023


McCann: We're close to being real contenders

14 December 2023

Grant McCann is confident Rovers are close to being able to compete among the top sides in Sky Bet League Two on a regular basis.

Speaking to the media ahead of the clash with Morecambe at the Eco-Power Stadium, the Rovers manager feels fresh blood in the squad in the coming weeks could make a significant difference to fortunes in the second half of the campaign.

“We feel like we’re getting better all the time,” he said. “It was clear to see that we started the season very slowly. The first win came at Forest Green but since that game we’ve been really competitive.

“Of the 13 league games from then, we’ve won seven of them, drew one and lost five. Three of those that we lost were away at sides in the top five in the league - Stockport, Barrow and Crewe.

“We know that we’re not far away from being a really good team in this division. I think we are a good team but I mean a team that can challenge at the top end of the division.

“We may be a couple of players coming back from injury away from that or we may be two or three bodies coming in in January away from that.

“But all the time we’re looking to progress, not stand still, looking to get better and hopefully we can be really competitive come the second half of the season.”

McCann believes finding consistency will be key to any progression for his side in the league this season.

But he is confident the work done by the squad in training has them heading in the right direction.

“We want to be more consistent,” he said. “I know we can beat anyone in this division but I also know we can be beaten by anyone in this division if we’re not at it.

“I think it’s important we try to put a decent run together at some point. And I mean five or six wins because we know how quickly that can move you up this division.

“That’s the aim but it’s something that comes from what we do Monday to Friday, the consistency of what we do in our training, making sure the players are doing all they can to maximise their own personal potential.

“We’re working very hard on that.”

This weekend’s visitors Morecambe have failed to win in the league since the end of October but McCann insists they will not be underestimated.

“They’ve got a centre forward [Michael Mellon] that can score goals at any given moment and who is really strong,” he said.

“They drew with Stockport at home in their last game and, watching the game back, they did well to get the point.

“Like any game in this division, they’ll all tough and we don’t approach it any differently.

“Over recent weeks we’ve been really good at home but that doesn’t mean we just have to roll up and beat Morecambe. We’ll have to work very hard and make sure we get our plan right to get the win.”

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