Tommy Rowe insists the whole Rovers squad are of the mindset that actions speak louder than words when it comes to improvement on the pitch next season.
Rovers are looking to sign off for the season with consecutive victories after ending the winless run with last weekend’s win over Colchester United.
Speaking ahead of Monday’s season closer at Walsall, Rowe said it would be easy to talk about Rovers being better next term but the real test will be on the pitch.
On ensuring supporters are optimistic for next season:
“It’s not words now, it’s actions. They speak louder because it is the truth - what you are in this current moment when you go out on the pitch is what you are. What you’ve been before doesn’t matter. They don’t want to hear your legends stories, they want to see what you are right now at the club.
“I’ve always said the fans will react the right way if you give your best self. If you judge your success on work ethic and attitude, I don’t think you can have any complaints.
“But if your work ethic is there and your attitude is right, 99 per cent of the time you’ll have a good game. It’s the case for training and it’s the case for the game. I’m a football fan and that’s what I want to see.
“I always say it to the lads before games - get the work rate right, the right mindset going into it and get the body language right and the vast majority of the time you can’t lose.”
On ending the winless run:
“It was a long time coming. It was a frustrating time for us and everyone with that run of form. To get over the line and stop the rot was important to us. Thankfully we managed to do it.
“We spoke about it all towards the end of the run and how heightened things were and perspective. We had to double down on our ownership of results and get to a level where we had to be more accepting of individual responsibility.
“The week leading up to it was quite intense. You’re adamant that you can get the right result and that you’ve done the right things. But it’s not just a case of just going out there - we had to change some things. It was a nice way of knowing the work through the week has paid off.”
On players learning from the recent adversity:
“This is professional football. At this club there is a standard and at this level it’s the goal of getting promoted and being a winner in every single game. This is not a bedding-in process, there’s no time to go through a process of growth, you have to go in live.
“I think certainly some of the younger players have grown immensely and been key figures to the squad. Their impact has been measurable to what we’ve done and where we are. We’d have liked to have a bigger impact for them to really grow and enjoy these moments.”
On the squad buying into the project:
“We’ve not done our job but it’s easy to see the fantastic work that this football club has done. We’ve got to match what is happening behind-the-scenes. The staff around the place have been working tirelessly to get a successful campaign and I believe they have done that. We’ve got to match what they’ve done in certain areas. It’s a bitter pill where some people have worked to their absolute best and as a squad we’ve not quite got there.
“It’s a truth of professional football. You don’t always have those seasons, even when you’re expected to or even when it feels right. It’s another challenge you go through. We have gone through it and we’ll be better for it. It’s about putting it into action, not just words.”
On looking to end the season with back-to-back wins:
“You’ve always got to take it upon yourself to respect every single match. This one is the biggest game of the season because it’s the next one. It also means a lot in different ways - it’s an opportunity to view how next season is, it’s an opportunity to build momentum.
“The fans that come down, they’re not doing it because it’s the last game of the season. They’re doing it because they care. We’re all tuned onto the same thing. Training is going to be intense, we’re be doing things the right way as if we’ve got a really important game, which it is. Other things will take care of themselves if we prepare for this match in the right way. And that has got to be the mindset for next season as well.”