Darren Ferguson insists talk of a play-off push would be far-fetched for Doncaster Rovers this season.
The Rovers boss believes some supporters have higher expectations for this campaign than are entirely realistic and suggests consolidation should be the club’s primary target this term.
Rovers have endured a few teething problems since their return to League One with good performances not necessarily delivering points – none more so than in Tuesday night’s agonising defeat to Shrewsbury Town.
And Ferguson has called for a dose of realism as the club acclimatise to life back in the third tier.
“Perhaps the fans expectations are higher than most and you have to be careful of that,” Ferguson said.
“I’ve always maintained I’ve never set a target for this season other than being competitive in every game which we have done.
“We’re losing out on the fine margins at the moment.
“It’s about consolidating a decent position in the league.
“Talk of anything like play-offs or promotion is very far fetched and I’ve always maintained that.”
Rovers have won just two of their opening ten games in League One and Ferguson admits his side are going through a learning curve at the start of this campaign.
But he says it should not be defeats that bring lessons.
“We have got a lot of young players but they have to learn quick,” Ferguson said. “At the minute we’re learning the wrong way and the hard way.
“We have to still learn in games but not by getting beat. We still need to get results out of them.
“It’s about changing things that you’re not doing well during games.
“You set up for games, do all the work and preparation but you have to be better during the games. There’s been examples of that.
“We’ve got a lot of talent and we’ve shown that.
“But we just need to be a bit more streetwise at times.
“Certainly with our communication.”
Ferguson says goalkeeper Ian Lawlor could be fit to face Bradford City on Saturday but admits Marko Marosi is more likely to play.