We can only worry about ourselves, says Bristol Rovers defender Mark McChrystal
Defender Mark McChrystal says an improving Bristol Rovers still have a massive challenge ahead of them if they are to remain in the Football League.
Rovers have made steady improvement in the weeks following John Ward's arrival and have claimed seven points from the new manager's four games in charge.
The Pirates also produced their best performance of the season to dismantle promotion-chasing Fleetwood Town on their own patch last weekend, despite fielding a side decimated by injury.
Ward's side, however, still remain bottom of the league following mid-season revivals for relegation-threatened Barnet and AFC Wimbledon and McChrystal is under no illusions that the task that remains is still a difficult one.
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McChrystal said: "It is a bit disappointing when you get a great win and then you come in at the end and hear that all of the other teams around you also won their games.
"It just goes to show that you can only look after your own games. Eventually other teams will drop points so we have to make sure that we maintain some sort of form to capitalise when they do.
"Myself and the others players that the new manager brought in were well aware of the situation the club was in when we were offered deals.
"The next 20 games or so is going to be a challenge, there's no doubt about that, but it's one I'm up for.
"Some people might not have fancied it, but the manager made it clear that we had to fight for this cause if we came here.
"I also have to fight for my own future. I'm only on a short-term deal so every game counts. I'm just focusing on helping to keep the club up and see what happens after that."
Rovers have been helped by Ward's decision to go back-to-basics in the aftermath of Mark McGhee's more unorthodox approach to team selection and McChrystal said: "The less chopping and changing the better because it gives the same players a chance to build up an understanding and get organised.
"The important thing for us is to get a settled back four; I think that is important for every team. We got the three goals at Fleetwood on Saturday and then it was about keeping a clean sheet for me.
"I don't think there has been too many this season and they are very important in building confidence throughout the team.
"We do have a bit of quality going forward so if we can keep it tight at the back we'll always have a chance of winning a game."
Rovers continue their bid to lift themselves off the foot-of-the-table when they welcome Exeter City to the Memorial Stadium on Saturday.
"They are another team up there and pushing for promotion," McChrystal said. "We can only try and go out and do a similar job to the one we did at Fleetwood because that was a great win for us.
"Fleetwood are considered one the big-spenders in this league so to go to their place and win in the way we did gives everybody that little bit of extra belief.