Doncaster Rovers: Ready to show what difference a year makes
If there was a theme to the discussion in the immediate aftermath of Rovers' promotion triumph, it was what a difference a year makes.
While players and fans alike joined in wild celebrations as a place in League One was confirmed, just 12 months earlier Rovers were not so much in the doldrums, but a few levels further down.
They have risen from such a low ebb so quickly and with such strength that relegation begins to look almost like it was a good thing.
As a trip to Colchester United rolls around on Good Friday yet again, it is not hard to be drawn into casting the mind back to the same fixture, on the same landmark day, last year.
Rovers went into Easter weekend knowing no less than four points would be enough to realistically keep hopes alive of avoiding an unthinkable relegation.
But, when the pressure was really on, they melted.
In a catalogue of bad days and bad performances, the 4-1 defeat at Colchester last season stood out.
It was a second half capitulation of horrendous proportions. The fact it was against a relegation rival, who looked there for the taking, made it even worse.
Darren Ferguson is typically measured when he meets with the press after a game. On this occasion his fury could not be contained. No one blamed him.
Defeat meant Bank Holiday Monday’s clash with Blackpool – also repeated again this year – was must win. Though the performance was improved – it would have been hard pressed not to be – it still brought defeat and relegation was inevitable.
What a difference a year makes eh?
One year on, Rovers head into Easter weekend with promotion in the bag and a few wins away from securing the League Two title.
There will be a determination to show just how far they have come since the last time they visited Colchester. Anything less than a good performance will draw similar ire from Ferguson.
That there is a title win to be had should keep the players motivated. That they have a boss whose standards and demands never slip below exceptional will certainly make sure they are.
Regardless of that, this Rovers team is a completely different animal to its incarnation from the previous year.
Ferguson’s team talk on Friday should be as easy at it was last week when the carrot of promotion was dangling in front of players’ faces. This time it only needs to be - show them how far you’ve come.