Darren Ferguson believes Doncaster Rovers will have no worries about going on to win the League Two title if they match their performance in defeat to Plymouth Argyle for the rest of the season.
Rovers dominated possession and chances against their nearest rivals for the title but suffered a 1-0 defeat yesterday courtesy of Sonny Bradley’s bullet header.
Defeat cut Rovers’ lead at the top of the table to three points with seven games remaining.
But Ferguson is confident promotion and the championship will be achieved if Rovers can replicate Sunday’s performance in the remainder of their games.
“If we can maintain that level then we’ll be fine because I think that’s as good as we’ve played for a long time,” he said.
Ferguson insists picking up his players after defeat will not be a difficult task with the desire to win the League Two title still strong.
Victory at Grimsby Town next week could see Rovers secure promotion, if Stevenage lose to Barnet.
He said: “The motivation is to win the league and make sure Plymouth don’t.
“That’s the motivation for the rest of the season.
“We go to Grimsby next and we’ll take a massive support there.
“The one thing we’ve done well is react well to a defeat.
“Will I have to pick them up? I don’t think too much because they know they played well, and that’s important.”
Sunday’s result brought to an end Rovers’ unbeaten home record, one game shy of a full year.
Despite the defeat, Ferguson encouraged supporters to be proud of the performance against a Plymouth side who looked to restrict them and play on the counterattack.
He said: “I think the fans should be proud of the team because that was a very good performance.
“Some of the football, the way we passed around them and played wide of them, I thought we were very good.
“We were just very unlucky on the day and sometimes you need a bit of luck.
“Our finishing could have been better and their goalkeeper pulled off two magnificent saves.
Ferguson revealed striker Liam Mandeville is out for three weeks with a new thigh injury.