Surprise at Doncaster Rovers’ slump towards League Two has been expressed a lot over the last three months or so.
Be it opposition managers, Rovers players or incoming loanees, plenty of people have found it unfathomable that a club with what has an apparently decent squad of players and so recently tasted Championship football could possibly have struggled so much.
Loanee Tommy Rowe has spoken of his shock at the position in which Rovers find themselves.
But he says the quality of a group of players is not the main factor in whether a not a team will find success.
“I think everyone is surprised at this situation,” he told The Star.
“It’s not because of the players and the staff but because of every problem that you’ve come across all season.
“Teams are not in these positions because of individual players.
“It’s usually a combination of different errors throughout the season – managers going, unbalance of players.
“It is what it is, this situation.
“But the players are still of great calibre and they’ve helped me get the best of myself. And that goes for the staff as well.”
Sunday’s final day of the season clash with automatic promotion Burton Albion is almost certain to be Rowe’s last in Rovers colours.
Boss Darren Ferguson admitted he would take up the chance to sign the midfielder but said there would be no chance of doing so if Rovers were relegated to League Two.
The nature of the performances over the last couple of months from the 27-year-old suggests there will be a few clubs higher in the league ladder than Rovers who will be keen to snap him up with his options at Wolverhampton Wanders limited.
Rowe himself says he has enjoyed his time with Rovers enough to consider a stay.
He said: “I’ve enjoyed my time here, it’s been a great experience for me and I’d love to play here again.
“I’ve made it quite clear about my feelings towards the club, the management and the players.
“It’s clear to see I’ve enjoyed my football and any player who wouldn’t want to play under those circumstances is foolish.”
Relegation can only be avoided if Rovers win, Fleetwood lose to bottom side Crewe Alexandra and there is a ten goal swing in Rovers’ favour between the two clubs – plus Blackpool fail to beat Peterborough United.
The odds are sufficiently against Rovers that Ferguson has already conceded defeat in their battle to stay in League One.
Burton head to the Keepmoat needing just a point to seal their place in the Championship next season.