Paul Dickov admitted he got things wrong after Walsall’s win at the Keepmoat Stadium left him with a strong sense of deja-vu.
Goals from Jordan Cook and Jordy Hiwula condemned Doncaster to their first defeat in eight league games.
Dickov later lamented a “lifeless” first half display and expressed his disappointment at the soft nature of the two goals conceded - but also held his own hands up.
“I maybe picked the wrong team or the wrong formation to start with,” said Dickov, who ditched a midfield diamond in favour for a more traditional 4-4-2 after the break.
“We didn’t have people running in behind and we played too many long balls up to Uche [Ikpeazu].
“Nathan [Tyson] and Kyle’s [Bennett] pace gave us a spark and we started the second half well, but the second goal killed us. There were a few words at half time and we got the reaction we wanted. As poor as we were, we still created a lot of chances.
“It’s a kick up the backside for us,” he added.
“We didn’t meet the sort of standards we’ve set ourselves over recent weeks.
“Walsall did the basics better than us.”
The defeat was Doncaster’s first reverse at home in five matches following the club’s recent upturn in fortunes at the Keepmoat.
“It pains me to say it but it reminded me of games [at home] earlier in the season,” Dickov said of Saturday’s 2-0 defeat.
“We thought we’d stopped conceding silly goals and letting teams hit us on the break.
“The only positive is we’ve been on a great run, we know we’re capable of doing that, and we have to get another one going very quickly.
“Secondly, we’re still only four points outside the top six with some games in hand. There’s still 19 games to go and there’s lots to play for.
“We have to re-focus now.”
Luke McCullough, who missed Saturday’s game with a thigh strain, is likely to be out for two weeks.
James Coppinger is expected to be missing for a similar period following a second scan on his ankle.
Dickov said: “We’re delighted with the news on Copps because initially we were being told it was two to three months - but he’s a lot better than what we initially thought.”