Doncaster Rovers: Nothing has been achieved until we secure survival, insists Keegan (+AUDIO)

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Paul Keegan is refusing to deliver the final verdict on his own season until he knows the ultimate fate of Rovers.

The midfielder has undoubtedly been one of Rovers’ top performers this term after building upon a revelatory season where he played a major role in the League One winning side.

Paul Keegan

Paul Keegan

While he admits he is pleased with his role in the current campaign, Championship survival is the only marker which it can measured upon.

“I’ve really enjoyed having that long run of games in the side this season,” Keegan told the Star.

“It’s been a real bonus playing games because there’s a lot of competition in there.

“I’ve had a great partnership with Richie Wellens.

“It’s worked well with me sitting in to look after the back four while Richie gets on the ball and gets forward.

“But the main purpose is to stay up. It will all mean nothing if we don’t stay up.”

Such is the aura the Irishman radiates both on and off the pitch, it is easy to forget he has yet to turn 30, nor has he reached triple figures in senior appearances in English football.

A large part of the last fact has been the poor luck with injuries Keegan has had since his arrival at Rovers three years ago.

But this season has represented something of a turning point on that front, though it has not come without a lot of hard work.

He said: “I did a lot of work pre-season to make sure I didn’t get injured again.

“It’s just be a matter of getting things right.

“I knew myself I needed to do something to stay injury free because I’m no use to anyone if I’m injured all the time.

“I’ve been doing work with Ben Rome (fitness coach) and Alex Dalton (physio) on a leg-strengthening programme to prevent injuries.

“The gaffer and staff will give me time in the afternoons to do these sessions and stay on top of it to prevent injuries.

“They’ve shown the will look after people individually and been great on that this season.

“Barring the hamstring injury before Christmas it’s worked really well for me and, touch wood, I’ll stay that way and play lots of games.”

He may not be quite ready to give his final verdict but Keegan is confident Rovers will get over the survival finishing line, despite the tough run in over the final five games, starting on Saturday at Ipswich.

“We’ve shown we’re capable of beating the top teams so we’re not going to be fazed by any of it,” Keegan said.

“Ipswich will be a tough test but we’ll start with that game and try and get a result there before worrying about anything else.

“There’s plenty of games to go yet and each one is incredibly important.

“With the experience in the team I think we’re capable of making sure we get results in the end.

“We’ve put in some very good performances without necessarily getting the results.

“Now we need results more than performances and we’re definitely capable of doing that.”