Doncaster Rovers: Nathan Tyson opens up on ‘mentality’ issue

Nathan Tyson
Nathan Tyson

So what does having the right ‘mentality’ actually entail?

Nathan Tyson was asked that exact question at the end of last season and provided a fascinating, arguably enlightening answer.

Mentality has become the buzz word at Doncaster and mental strength is a prerequisite for any new arrivals this summer.

Paul Dickov cited a “fear of success” among some of his players after Rovers negotiated their way into sixth spot but then proceeded to throw away the opportunity of reaching the play-offs.

Tyson himself admits to once being in a place where his mentality was not right.

The 33-year-old striker - whose Rovers contract has rolled over for another year - almost quit the game before arriving at the Keepmoat Stadium last summer after stumbling from one loan club to another, suffering injury after injury, struggling desperately for goals.

He left nothing in the tank last term, however, earning two player of the year awards for his relentless work ethic and 14-goal haul.

And in a revealing response to the mentality question, Tyson has echoed his manager’s calls for Doncaster to be made of sterner stuff - hinting perhaps that some of the club’s more talented players need to be more switched on.

“The mentality of the players is something that needs to improve,” said Tyson.

“Having the right mentality means conducting yourself in the right manner before games, during the games and also off the field

“It’s about getting yourself right, getting your head right, getting your head in the game. You have to want it, you have to really, really want it.

“It’s very easy to turn up on a Saturday and go through the motions.

“If you’re a good player you can just turn up, anyone can just turn up, pass the ball here, pass the ball there, and not really run as much.

“It’s about getting in your head and thinking I’m better than that. I’ll prove I’m better than that. I’m going to go out and do the best for the team and lay my body on the line. That’s the mental strength that you need.

“Some people need help with it, some people don’t. Some people like to bottle things up. I’ve been all of them.

“I’ve got great experience of being in a certain situation and not being mentally right and then being mentally right. The mentality of a player has to be there. You need to perform week in week out.”