Darren Ferguson wants his on-song Rovers side to ensure they head into the New Year with real optimism after their rollercoaster start to the season.
Rovers sat 23rd in the table after 12 games when Ferguson took charge with only two league wins under their belts.
But since his arrival they have climbed to 15th, losing just three in ten, and could find themselves just three points off the top six if they beat rivals Scunthorpe United at the Keepmoat this afternoon.
With two games in the space of three days, Ferguson sees the festive period as the most important time of the season.
And he is urging his squad to make sure the positive momentum continues into 2016.
“I think December always is the most important period of the season because you’ve got so many games so quickly that things can turn either for the good or the bad,” he said.
“If you get a good Christmas, you can go into the New Year with real optimism.
“That’s what we’re trying to do. That’s the aim.
“After that, probably March is the most important month because that defines where you are.
“This is an important week for all concerned.
“We stated with a home game, a derby game, so it’s a good game for us.”
Rovers have suffered just one defeat in their last nine matches.
And Ferguson says the squad has the belief they can win every game.
He said: “You want to be a confident bunch and have that belief that every game we’re going in to now we feel we can win.
“That’s where we’re at – although knowing fine well you can always slip up.
“Generally we’re going into games feeling confident and the players have inner belief about them.
“It’s a real key thing we had to get into them.”
A decision will be made late on Everton loanee Felipe Mattioni who returned to full training this week while Cameron Stewart is also set to return to the squad after a back issue.