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Schofield: Confidence is high heading to Walsall

3 May 2023

Interviews

Schofield: Confidence is high heading to Walsall

3 May 2023

Danny Schofield says there is confidence in the Rovers camp of securing back-to-back wins to close the season.

Rovers head to Walsall on Monday for the final game of the campaign, fresh from ending the winless run with a hard-fought victory over Colchester United last time out.

And head coach Schofield believes beating the U’s has given his squad a timely lift as they look to end a difficult campaign on a positive note.

On the health of the squad:

“There is no one new missing. James Maxwell and Joseph Olowu have trained for the last two days but not at the full intensity. They’ll train for the next couple of days but whether we risk them by involving them in the game is a decision we have to make. We’ll see how they get on in the next few days.”

On looking to overcome injury issues:

“It will be part of the review at the end of the season. The focus will be on muscular injuries because they’re the ones we feel we can prevent or do our best to by examining the recovery days of players, the loads players are put through, the nutrition - all these kind of things. Where it’s impact injuries - tackles, knees, ankles, Joseph Olowu’s shattered cheekbone at Rochdale - these are all part and parcel of football.

“There will definitely be an intense review process on how we can improve the prevention of injury. We’ll go into detail on that with the physio and the sports scientist.”

On ending the winless run:

“You move on quickly, whether it’s win, lose or draw but it was good to get that win after a tough period of results. We’ve been in tough form, it’s been a challenging time and to get that win was credit to the players. They’ve stuck at it, showed a real togetherness and competed in key moments which has helped us win the game. It’ll give the players confidence moving into the Walsall game.”

On finding a way to manage games:

“We’ll review everything at the end of the season in terms of the type of chances we’re conceding and the goals we’re conceding. We know the areas where we need to improve on and the both box stuff, scoring and conceding goals, is a major part of that.”

On looking to finish as high as possible:

“It’s a big incentive. We can finish two places higher than what we currently are now. That’ll be our focus - to go into the game looking to finish as positively as possible. We finished the last home game on a real positive note and gave the supporters something to smile about. We’ll look to do that against Walsall as well.

“To finish with back-to-back wins would be really important. After the Colchester game, the lads are full of confidence to go and do that.”

On his first full season as a head coach:

“It’s certainly been challenging and when the season draws to an end I’ll go through a reflection process personally, as we will do collectively as a staff. There’s been lots of ups and downs but it’s been enjoyable, because I like to be pushed.

“There’s been lots of learning personally moving into next season.

“It’s always been my mindset that when you through challenging times there’s two ways you can deal with it. You either don’t face the challenge, don’t try again and find something else, or you step up to it and face the next challenges that come. The most important part it that learning process and making sure you come through it better prepared and make better decisions. That’s what myself and the staff aim to do.

“I’ve enjoyed it. It’s been very challenging, being in this role and being in football is very demanding. It’s my first full season as a head coach. I’ve enjoyed the process. Has it been challenging? Yes. Has it been emotionally difficult? Yes. But I feel very optimistic in terms of where we want to go next season.”

On getting supporters back onside:

“That’s a focus. We want the supporters to really back myself and the club. My focus in that is controlling what I can control and that is for me to improve every single day, help the players improve every single day, work hard in the recruitment side of things to strengthen the squad, improve everything on a daily basis in how we’re coaching and the result is a by-product of all that hard work.”

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