“This could be the kick up the backside we need.”
That was the positive spin Paul Dickov admirably managed to wring from the woeful 5-0 demolition at Bournemouth.
Immediately, Twitter lit up with Rovers supporters saying they had heard the same comment before, plenty pointing out that it came just a week earlier following the disappointing defeat at Yeovil.
Though not for fear of repeating himself again, Dickov should hope that is the last time he has to deliver such a verdict this season.
Rovers simply cannot be anywhere near as bad as that again in any of the 13 games which remain this term.
Such a lack of fight and total absence of quality made for frightening viewing, particularly after a month without a win when the relegation dogfight became a reality once again.
Even though the gap remained at three points thanks to good fortune elsewhere, it all of a sudden began to look not nearly enough.
The big worry for Dickov now is how long will it take his men to recover from their mauling. They may train well this week, all the noise from the changing room may be positive but we were assured that was the case after the disappointing defeat at Yeovil.
An immediate, powerful response is the ideal, storybook outcome from such a horrendous day but Dickov’s men have struggled to do that after big defeats.
In fact, on two occasions this term, a heavy loss – 4-1 at Reading, 3-0 at Bolton – has sparked a sequence of defeats.
Only at the end of such a sequence have Rovers shored up. Both were ended with goalless draws.
Such a pattern cannot happen again. If Rovers lose the next two games – both of which are at home – they will be extremely fortunate to still hold a three point cushion over the bottom three.
The kick up the backside should not be one coming to inspire a backlash from humiliation. It should instead come from the growing heat which is starting to burn Rovers’ necks.