Grant McCann says the ‘nasty side’ that Doncaster Rovers have developed during his tenure is here to stay.
Rovers currently have the joint worst disciplinary record in League One alongside Fleetwood Town – a marked shift from last season when they had one of the cleanest records in the division.
Andy Butler and Niall Mason are both banned for today’s trip to Coventry City after reaching five yellow cards.
Ben Whiteman, Joe Wright, Herbie Kane and Marko Marosi have also served one-game bans so far this season.
But McCann is unapologetic for his team’s no-nonsense approach.
“We stand up to people now,” he told The Star.
“I think we’ve shown that nasty side of us – maybe a little bit too much having too many people suspended early in the season.
“But I’ll never take that away from my team.
“I think you have to have that.
“Any successful team has to have that backbone of resilience and grit, and if there’s a tackle to be won they’ll win it.
“We have got competitive players in our team: Ben Whiteman, Herbie Kane, Andy Butler, Joe Wright, Niall Mason, Danny Andrew, John Marquis – they all like the physical side of the game and I think that will only stand us in good stead.
“The silly bookings are a bit naive,” he added.
“Those ones are avoidable but I would never take away the tackles and things like that. I would never tell my players to pull out of a tackle.”
Rovers have collected 37 bookings in their opening 15 games, more than any other side in League One. Their one red card came against Portsmouth when Marosi was dismissed for handling outside his area.
Today’s opponents Coventry currently have the best disciplinary record in League One having picked up just 14 yellow cards.