DONCASTER Rovers’ director of football, Mickey Walker, was back at his desk at Cantley Park this week after suffering a heart attack at the complex earlier this year.
Now fully recovered, the 67 year-old is glad to be working and already looking forward to next season. “Like everyone else at the club I was sorry to see us relegated but we’ve got to put what happened behind us and look to the future and try and get back to the Championship as quickly as we can,” he told The Star.
“One thing we’ve really got to be positive about is that we are still in the Football League; the last time the club was relegated it was down to the Conference back in 1998.
“We’ve only gone down a division and we didn’t do anything wrong. We just had one of those unlucky seasons which a lot of clubs have from time to time.
“Unlike the last time we were relegated, we are a strong club with a fantastic chairman and a good board, a good management duo and a good backroom team.
“We’ve also got some very good players and everyone at the club has got a great work ethic and everyone is looking forward to next season and challenging for promotion back to the Championship.
“But we are not taking League One lightly and we know that it is going to be tough. I would say that the standard of the teams at the bottom of the Championship this year and those at the top of League One was very similar. Depending on what happens in the League One promotion play-offs, we could be playing against the likes of Sheffield United and Huddersfield Town next season
“Every league has got quality teams and quality players in it these days and I certainly think that it is going to be a tougher division next season than the last time we were in it back in 2007-08.
“A lot of the teams are the same but a lot of them have moved on since we last played them and will be harder to beat. We know what to expect and we’ll be going into it forewarned and therefore forearmed.
“For instance, I know from my previous experience in League One where it will be tough to go and get a result; we certainly won’t be taking anyone lightly.
“I certainly think that we’ll have to be more resilient than in the Championship because there are a lot of hard-working teams and we are going to have to be equally hard-working if not more so.
“Fortunately, Dean is an absolute workaholic and that’s something he tries to instil into his players.”