John Marquis has stressed the importance of game management as promotion-chasing Doncaster Rovers bid to return to winning ways.
Rovers were in control against Carlisle United on Tuesday night until they missed a second half penalty and had to settle for a point.
And Marquis, who helped Northampton Town win League Two last season, says third-placed Rovers need to learn to be “more cute” in games.
“At 2-1 we need to manage the game a little bit better,” said Marquis, whose goal against the Cumbrians took his season’s tally to five.
“Between us players and staff you need to have good game management.
“You need to know when to slow play down, when to be cute with things - maybe stay down for a couple of extra seconds, get a breather, get the team up the pitch, get ourselves set.”
Marquis says the know-how of Rovers’ more experienced players must come to the fore at Portsmouth on Saturday.
“There’s a lot of experience in our dressing room and we need to make sure the players with older heads really help out everyone else, particularly in games like the one this weekend,” he said.
“A few of the lads won’t have played in an atmosphere like there is at Fratton Park.
“Would I take a point now? I’m not sure because we’re a strong team and I’d like to go there and try and win.
“To make this a good week we really need to go there and get a win.”
Marquis is pretty clear on the blueprint for success; win your home games and collect what you can on your travels.
But the 24-year-old striker wants Rovers to play ‘smart’ away from home.
“To get promoted out of this league it is about consistency,” he said.
“We know, looking round the dressing room, there’s some really good players in there and we just need to make sure we’re performing at the top of our game to be in and around it come the end of the season.
“We need to really win games of football at home, and away from home be a little bit smart and know which ones you maybe just have to settle for a point.
“We’re looking at the next batch of games now, and we feel we can get a good points return from the next six to eight games.”