Darren Ferguson has used the example of Plymouth Argyle’s very sudden downturn in form as a motivational tool ahead of Saturday’s trip to Stevenage.
Just two weeks ago, prior to a run of three straight defeats, the Pilgrims were threatening to run away with League Two.
On Saturday Doncaster Rovers will rise to the summit themselves should they win at the Lamex Stadium.
Ferguson’s mantra to his squad this week has been to maintain the standards they set in the excellent back-to-back home wins over Hartlepool and Leyton Orient. He points at Plymouth just to underline his point.
“A good example for me to use with the players has been what’s happened to Plymouth, in terms of how quickly it can turn,” said Ferguson.
“Don’t get me wrong. Regardless of losing three games, Plymouth are in a fantastic position and they’ve done brilliantly.
“But all of a sudden, in the space of four games, we’ve gone from being 11 points behind them to perhaps going above them and we’re about to play them. So it just shows how quickly it can turn if you don’t keep your standards up.”
‘Consistency’ is unquestionably the buzz word ahead of Saturday’s trip to Hertfordshire.
“Performances are getting better but I think there’s more in them,” said Ferguson.
“I think they’ve gained a lot of confidence from the last two performances and they’re playing with confidence.
“I’ve got to make sure there’s no complacency.
“But if the players get to those standards, they’ll enjoy their football and they’ll win games.
“I’ve enjoyed watching it. The fans have enjoyed it. We’ve just got to get consistency now. If we play to that sort of level we should win a lot of games. We’ve got to maintain our standards.
“I think people coming back is a big thing too - especially Andy Williams. It keeps people on their toes.”