Paul Dickov has said the attitude and work-rate from his players during the international break has been “different class”.
Due to international call-ups, Rovers have been without a game ever since their Oldham defeat back on August 30.
Dickov and his staff used the time away from League One action to get the players in for a ‘mini pre-season’ and has been delighted with the work on the training ground during the fortnight’s break.
“We’ve had a fantastic reaction,” said the Rovers chief.
“They have been so sharp and bright, especially this week.
“We worked them hard on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and a little bit of Friday last week before giving them the weekend off to settle down so that they could come in Monday with a view to the games we’ve got coming up.
“I’ve got to say they were different class this week.”
The Scotsman said he and his staff also spent the time watching plenty of live games - particularly Bristol City, this Saturday’s opponents, when they clinched a 2-0 victory over Scunthorpe United.
“We’ve probably covered over 20 games at various levels and we’ve got a lot of really good work - both physically and tactically with the players in as well which was important,” said Dickov.
“We stressed to the players after the Oldham game that there was a plan in place so it wasn’t a ‘punishment’ as such or a knee-jerk reaction to the defeat.
“With the slight upheaval and the shorter time we had during pre-season, we just needed to use the two weeks to get a lot of work out of the players who necessarily didn’t have a pre-season with us and we’ve done that.”
The Rovers manager has the luxury of all of his players, barring Curtis Main, being available for selection for Saturday’s trip to Bristol.