Manager Keith Hill is looking for his side to build on the Boxing Day performance against Blackburn Rovers when they face Doncaster Rovers on Friday night in the final match of 2017.
The game at the Keepmoat Stadium is Dale’s third in six days, and with the fixtures coming thick and fast, Hill is taking the positives from the display at Ewood Park.
“It [the quick turnaround in games] doesn’t give you too much time but you’ve got to respond quickly – that’s all I’m looking for.
“I’ll support my players through thick and thin as long as they can look me in the eye and say that they’ve given me everything, and I think you could see that they gave me everything against Blackburn.
“They probably fell a little bit short and the two mistakes that led to their goals were unforced errors. If the opposition are putting you under extreme pressure and making you make mistakes, then sometimes you have to accept it, but two real unforced errors cost us, in, what I believe was, a good performance.
“The players are responsible for the successes that we’ve had at this football club. They always are because they are the ones who go out there and perform, and it’s up to those players to accept the situation that we’re in, going into the games that we’re playing. I’ve told the players to go with the mantra of ‘don’t play the league, play the opponents’, to just focus on the game that’s coming up and play the 90 minutes as we try to build positive momentum.
“I believe we could build positive momentum after the display against Blackburn, because I thought there were some excellent performances.”
On Doncaster, Hill commented: “They are a good side.
“I like Darren Ferguson and the way he likes to play football, and he’s getting a good League One side together.
“We’ll assess and evaluate the team that that we selected for Blackburn going into Friday’s game. We know that Doncaster play a certain way and we’ll have to perform equally as good as we did on Tuesday. If we do that without making the small mistakes, then we’ll be successful.
“Sometimes when you’re down there, things get more difficult but what I don’t want is a squad of victims. You’ve got to respond in the right manner with good values – if you work harder than the opponents then things will break for you.
“I don’t want anybody being a victim in the situation that we’re in – I want them all to be positive and I want them to respond by sticking their chest out and drive into the next game. As long as we work hard, I’ll support every single one of them players and they’ll support me as well.”