Players must not underestimate the power of work-ethic, says Bristol Rovers boss John Ward
Bristol Rovers John Ward says he is working hard to make sure his players don’t get carried away by their recent run of improving form.
Ward has guided the side out of the bottom two following a run of form that has seen the players pick up 14 points from their seven games following the departure of former boss Mark McGhee in December.
Their latest outing ended in wild scenes of celebration following a stoppage-time wonder strike off the boot of Oliver Norburn to claim a point against promotion-chasing Cheltenham Town on Tuesday night, but Ward said: “It’s all about maintaining the hard work the players have shown in the last few games. We have to always look ahead and the only reason for ever looking back is for the information that will help us in what we are trying to achieve.
“We have scored two late goals in our last two games and they have been important for us, but if we go to Oxford on Saturday and are sloppy or get lazy then what is the point?
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“That is my message to the players and supporters today because we are achieving together. Let’s go to Oxford and see if we can replicate a similar performance on and off the pitch because there is no better feeling in any walk of life than the one after you have been successful.
“We are enjoying a little bit of success at the moment, but we are still not out of the woods. We are still in a precarious position and that is something we still have to accept, understand and deal with.”
The 1-1 draw at Whaddon Road moved Ward’s men to within five points of 18th-placed York City and the manager believes getting out of the bottom six for the first time this season must be the next progression to aim for ahead of tomorrow’s trip to the Kassam Stadium.
“There are areas in which we can improve,” Ward said. “You only have to look at the league table to come to that conclusion. We have look above now and see if we can catch that little cluster of teams just outside the bottom six.
“It is not easy, however, because you look at the teams below us and the likes of Barnet, who showed they were a very good side at the Memorial Stadium last Friday night, are in the bottom two.
“If we keep concentrating on improving ourselves game-by-game then we will make progress and perhaps drag one or two of the teams above us into the mix.”