Craig Alcock is back in the fold and insists there is a lot more to come from Doncaster Rovers.
The 28-year-old defender is set to make his first appearance of the season by starting for Rovers in their FA Cup first round clash at Oldham Athletic tomorrow.
Alcock - arguably the only Rovers player to emerge from last season’s relegation debacle with any credit - suffered a nasty ankle ligament injury during pre-season against Newcastle United and has been forced to watch the first three months of the season from the sidelines.
Ahead of his long-awaited return this weekend, Alcock said he was delighted to see Rovers up in third in League Two but was keen to point out there is plenty of room for improvement.
“I think we’re obviously doing something right given that we’re at the right end of the table,” said Alcock.
“But I think there’s a lot of room for improvement and we all know that as a group.
“The gaffer and Strachs are making sure every day in training that our standards are up there so that we do keep on improving.
“That’s the positive from our point of view at the minute, knowing that we’re up there but also that there’s a lot more to come from us.
“Hopefully we can show that over the coming months.”
Alcock certainly has not lacked any company in the treatment room over the last few months.
“It’s felt like a long time and you feel helpless when you’re watching the boys out there and you can’t do anything to affect it,” he said.
“All the injured lads have been first class in keeping the lads that are playing on their toes and having a bit of banter and stuff.
“Obviously it’s been an unfortunate situation with all the injuries but the likes of Gaz [McSheffrey], Lukey [McCullough] and Sincs [Taylor-Sinclair] are doing brilliantly to keep themselves motivated and hopefully they’ll be back sooner rather than later.”
Two cup games, against Oldham and then Port Vale in the Checkatrade Trophy next Tuesday, have come at a good time for Alcock.
But he says a break from League Two is no excuse to take the foot off the gas.
“I think it’s important for us as a club to get a good cup run,” said Alcock.
“We’ve got nothing to lose [on Saturday] but the main thing is we go out there and do ourselves justice.
“A good cup run can create a feel-good atmosphere around the place and then hopefully we can use that in the league to kick on.
“They’ve obviously got players we know about, including Greeny, so it should be a good test for us.”