As Doncaster Rovers continue to think positively ahead of the new season, boss Darren Ferguson says he is ready to shoulder any potential negativity further down the line.
The feeling within the Rovers camp is the slate has been wiped clean and the club is well positioned to put the pain of relegation behind them.
But in a further bid to eradicate the angst of last season, Ferguson says he will carry the can should Rovers suffer any sort of immediate hangover following their drop from League One.
Ferguson is determined to see the positivity of pre-season - during which he has recruited no fewer than eight new players to date - taken forward onto the pitch. He wants his players to look forwards and not backwards, and has vowed to shoulder full responsibility following his summer shake-up.
“I think it took the players a little while to get their heads round the fact we’ve been relegated,” said Ferguson.
“But that’s gone now and we hope we don’t have to keep on going back to that.
“The only reason you’d have to keep going back to that is if your results don’t pick up.
“That’s for me to carry.
“This season I’ll be carrying that on my own shoulders - which is quite right because it is my team now.
“I’ve got the ones I wanted to recruit and I fully understand the expectations on me and I’m fine with that.”
Following relegation, Ferguson is likely to come under pressure from supporters if a fast start to the season is not forthcoming. But the Scot insists that is merely a side issue as he bids to generate a positive momentum at a club that has been relegated in three of the last five seasons.
“We need to get off to a good start for no other reason than to keep the positivity we’ve got at the moment,” he said.
“I’m not talking about myself here, I’m talking about the club.
“I’m not saying if we don’t start well I’m going to feel under pressure. Not at all. I don’t look into things like that. Common sense tells you that anyway.
“It’s about momentum. We’ve got to start the season well.
“That doesn’t mean we’ve got to win our first ten games.
“We need to make sure we start well, play good football, and really get on the front foot.”
Rovers have taken the bull by the horns since their relegation fate was sealed and brought in eight new players so far, including Wolves midfielder Tommy Rowe and experienced forward Gary McSheffrey.
“We’ve done what we set out to do, as soon as the season finished, and probably before that,” said Ferguson.
“We had certain targets which we’ve managed to get. We’ve got the ones we wanted, which is very rare especially at this time of the season.
“But we’ve made a statement if you like that we’re very proactive and aggressive in the market. We’ve got one or two players that people probably didn’t expect us to get at this level. And I think on the back of that we’ve managed to get others in.”