Doncaster Rovers: Skipper Tommy Rowe insists the best is yet to come
His performances since his return to the side have only improved and Doncaster Rovers skipper Tommy Rowe insists the best is yet to come.
Timely too with Rovers continuing their quest for the final play-off spot in League One,
Rowe’s campaign has been blighted by injury and a battle to usurp players who had been on excellent form during his absence and recovery from a hamstring injury.
The lack of consistent game time clearly had an effect on the 30-year-old, who struggled to deliver the sort of commanding and influential performances that had been him such an important player at the club over the last few seasons.
But a shake-up of the side followed by injuries to Ben Whiteman and Herbie Kane opened the door for the skipper to start a run of matches for the first time since the opening weeks of the season.
Even with Whiteman and Kane fit again, Rowe kept his place thanks to a string of impressive showings.
But the midfielder himself believes he still has not yet fully hit is stride.
“I’m my own worst critic," he said.
“I’m delighted to be in form and playing week in, week out.
“I have loads of room to improve though.
“The standards I set myself I expect myself to be a match winner, to galvanise a group. That will come.
"I've got so much more to give and hopefully I can keep getting better and show that.”
When it comes to his own physical health, Rowe believes he is peaking at the right time.
And he feels the rest of the Rovers squad are standing up to the demands of them at this stage of the campaign, despite the last nine energy-sapping months.
Rowe paid tribute to the professionalism of his team mates for ensuring they can maintain their high-tempo approach in the fight for the play-offs.
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“I have in past seasons come towards the end of the season and felt really strong," he said.
“I obviously took a breather last season for five games with the injury.
“It's about adapting, adapting to the training schedule and the games. You will have different moments in the season where you have to look after your body.
“The intensity of our training you can see is a shadow of the way we play.
“You can't coast through training and expect to play the way we play. You have to give it your all so there is a real demand to recover right.
“I have that professionalism and I’m certain a lot of the team have that as well.
“I think that is why we have been so successful, because of the professionalism of the young players.
"They listen, they take things on board quite well. If we have that for the next three games I’m sure it'll be enough.”
Rowe's future at Rovers remains undecided with his contract set to expire in the summer.
It is understood boss Grant McCann will not begin formal talks with the experienced midfielder until the campaign is finished.
For now, Rowe is determined to produce the sort of form that could earn him a new contract come May.
“A lot of things will decide it,” he said. “I can only take care of one thing and that is form.
“As long as I work hard and stick to the script – to go out there and be a leader and get the best out of myself and improve that form which I feel I have over the last six or seven games.
“I’ll take that into Tuesday and see where it takes us.”