PAUL DICKOV COLUMN: It’s important we’re exposed to ‘real life’

Rovers held their annual DRI children's ward visit yesterday.
Rovers held their annual DRI children's ward visit yesterday.

Our annual visit to the children’s ward at Doncaster Royal Infirmary yesterday was a very humbling experience.

There are a lot of unfortunate people going to be in there over Christmas. So if we can bring a little bit of happiness, and make someone smile, by giving some presents out then it’s the least we can do.

James Coppinger, Paul Keegan and Dean Furman went along with me and I think it’s important we show we appreciate everything we’ve got and give something back.

Footballers can moan at the slightest little things at times but this was real life and it’s important we’re exposed to that.

I’ve been involved in hospital visits at this time of year throughout my career as a player and now a manager, and they are not just about keeping the reputation of the club going, or trying to enhance it. There’s a humbling feeling when you leave and a big feeling of how lucky you really are. It’s important to have that perspective. It’s a good experience for the players and hopefully the kids enjoyed it too.

In terms of the football, if you look back at our last two games against Crewe and Barnsley we’ve had two good performances and we should have had six points.

There is a bit of frustration looking back but once I had calmed down after the other night - after giving the players a bit of a rocket after the game on Tuesday - the most pleasing thing is the performances are getting better.

Six weeks ago we weren’t really creating chances, or we’d create one or two and have to take one of those. But now we’re playing some really good football going forward and looking really solid at the back. We’re progressing well. We’ve kept the momentum going and the players are buzzing at the moment.

They know we should have picked up more points from the last two games and there’s a determination among them to put that right. There’s a real desire among them at the moment. And that’s as a whole group - not just the starting eleven - so that’s very pleasing.

We’re all looking forward to turning our attention towards the FA Cup this weekend at Oldham and there are lots of different factors why it’s important to get a good cup run going.

There’s a lot of money at stake and the players can get a lot of exposure in this competition - so we’re going all out for victory.