BRIAN Flynn says the Rovers squad must step up and prove they are capable of coping with the various challenges presented to them.
Rovers were thoroughly outplayed in Tuesday night’s 3-0 defeat at MK Dons which saw them miss out on an opportunity to move six points clear in the League One automatic promotion places.
And during the game, they lost talismanic captain Rob Jones, who was added to the injury list which has also claimed David Syers and Paul Keegan in a matter of days.
Now Flynn has appealed to his squad to show they can hold their nerve for the ten remaining games of the campaign.
“Can they cope? – that is the big question for the group now,” Flynn said.
“You’ll always miss quality players and we’re going to be without them in David Syers, Paul Keegan and Rob Jones.
“The true test of a squad is being able to stand up and deal with the situation that is in front of you.
“Losing Rob is going to be a problem for us and were waiting to find out how long that will be for.
“If you look at the recent month we went five games unbeaten and that’s the type of challenge we’ve got to live up to now.
“The last ten games are all massive and they start with a big, big game at Bournemouth on Saturday.
“We need a big response from the MK Dons game and we’ve then got to get ready for three games in a week again.
“We can’t do anything about what happened on Tuesday now so we’ll dust ourselves down and look forward to Bournemouth.
“If there’s a small crumb of comfort from the MK Dons game it’s that we’re still top of the league.”
Flynn was last night hoping for good news on the extent of Jones’ injury which has affected his lower calf and ankle.
With the towering centre half likely to miss Saturday’s trip to seventh placed Bournemouth, Tommy Spurr will deputise in the heart of defence.
Flynn will then face a choice between starting recent injury victim Andy Griffin – who came off the bench at MK Dons – or withdrawing James Husband from his left wing role to his preferred left back position.
The Welshman conducted a 45 minute post-game inquest at stadium:MK from which he would only reveal that ‘honest words’ were spoken.