doc

ROVERS boss Tony Mowbray says he is focussed on the job in hand, and not on outside perceptions of his team, as he looks to bring about a mentality shift at Ewood Park.

It comes after Rochdale boss Keith Hill said Rovers should ‘walk this league’ after Mowbray’s men were impressive 3-0 winners at Spotland on Saturday.

Mowbray hasn’t tried to play down expectations on his side this season as they look to make an immediate return to the Championship.

But while there is a belief that they can achieve their aims, Mowbray certainly isn’t looking too far ahead.

“I think you just have to focus on your own job, understand the problems that you have got, the reality of the situation we’re in,” Mowbray said.

“It’s interesting the perception of our team because I do feel as though we have individuals who can hurt the league, but it’s not individuals who win you games every week.

“The team has to have an organisation, a discipline and a desire and I’m not sure Keith would have said that had he seen the performance against Doncaster and the reaction of the supporters.

“After that game we all might have thought it would be a really tough season.

“Other people’s opinions don’t really matter, whether they think we should walk this league or some pundits on national radio who said we could go straight through to League Two.

“The next game is the only one that matters.”

Rovers go in search of a fourth consecutive league win for the first time since October 2007 at Scunthorpe United this evening (7.45pm).

And after relegation last term, Mowbray is wanting his side to develop a winning mentality as they look to continue their forward momentum.

He added: “I sit here trying to drive the team every day to change a mentality that’s not just not been here for last season’s relegation but for the last few years.

“It needs a mentality swing, it needs this group to understand that it’s hard work, honesty and togetherness week in week out that gives you the best chance of winning football matches.

“There will be stern tests along the way.”

Tonight’s game will come a month after Rovers were booed off after a 3-1 home defeat to Doncaster Rovers, which followed an opening day defeat at Southend United.

Things have taken a turn for the better since then, with Rovers winning four of their next five games in all competitions.

Saturday’s win, which saw Rovers backed by 3,229 travelling fans, was particularly impressive, and Mowbray aims to keep Rovers on that upward trajectory.

“I think the away support at Burton in my first game showed me that this is a big club,” he said.

“Big clubs expect to win, fans have expectations, the manager should expect to win and not roll over to any team.

“When the defeats come along, as long as the supporters can see that the players had a go and are fighting to the death, they will take it on the chin.

“I think the frustration of the Doncaster result was that, ‘ok Southend on the opening day, long trip, anything can happen’, but Doncaster at home was a game that everyone expected us to win.

“Since that day after some long discussions with the team, trying to refocus what is required in this league, the big thing for me is the players have shown the capability to adapt.

“Huge credit to the players for the way they have adapted and taken on board the messages to try and get victories in this league.

“We have to consistently to do that.
“For the supporters, I’m pleased they had a good day out at Rochdale and hope there’s many more good days on the road for us, but there will some disappointments.

“As long as in my mind the team are giving everything we have to take the defeats and negativity that surrounds defeats on the chin and make sure we bounce back as I think the team have done since that Doncaster result.

“I’m sure that it won’t be the first and only time we have to react after a defeat and hopefully over the 46 games we have enough resilience and quality to ensure that we are going to be right at the top end of the table.”