“It was brilliant to see the away support stick with us after everything that’s happened this season.”

“It was brilliant to see the away support stick with us after everything that’s happened this season.”

With the beers flowing in the dressing room as Rovers celebrated Championship survival following their outstanding 2-0 victory against Leicester City, at the King Power Stadium, Harry Pickering spoke to RoversTV, before being gate-crashed by Joe Rankin-Costello and the ever-lively Sammie Szmodics, as chaos ensued with the trio reflecting on a topsy-turvy campaign.

Beginning the interview, a relieved Pickering said: “We’re buzzing to get such a massive win, which we needed having seen the other results when we came into the dressing room. It was a brilliant performance from the boys and great backing by the fans who have been with us through thick and thin this season. The fans have always supported us and Rankin-Costello needs to get out of the room! It was a great day!

“We knew it was going to be tough, because they’ve got some fantastic Premier League players. Leicester controlled most of the game’s possession, but I don’t think we gave them any real clear-cut chances. They probably had a few in the second-half that didn’t really threaten us. We showed our quality and danger on the counter-attack. We managed to score two brilliant goals through Szmodz (Sammie Szmodics) and we were made up to stay in the division. This season has been really frustrating and difficult for the whole club and the fans. The fans expect better, as do we as a team, so hopefully, next season we can kick on and give them a better season.

“Even though we were away, against a team about to lift the title, all we could hear was our supporters throughout the game. It was brilliant to see the away support come out in numbers and stick with us after everything that’s happened this season. Hopefully, next season, we can do a lot better. We didn’t have a clue about the other scores until half-time and we didn’t know what was happening in the second-half. I think no knowing helped us, because it allowed us to focus on ourselves and get our job done without relying on others. Everyone was really good and Aynsley (Pears) pulled off a worldie of a save, before Szmodz scored two great goals; it was a great day all round.

“Everyone did their part, defensively. The front three pressed great and the midfield and back five stood their ground and defended brilliantly.”

With JRC and Szmodics taking free-reign, interjecting midway through the interview showing their delight at Rovers’ survival with a few choice expletives, the pair came in alongside Pickering to offer their thoughts on what had been an amazing afternoon.

JRC: “Sammie was electric, honestly! I’ve never loved anyone this much in my life! Oh wait, my missus and my mum, sorry! You’re third on the list, Szmodz and he deserves everything!”

SS: “It was a tough season, but we got it done! It was a team effort, the way we defended was outstanding. I’ve got to be there to score–“

JRC: “Great assist, no?”

SS: “Great assist, yeah! The lads defended brilliantly and I’ve just gone and scored, but it’s been a f…ooh, I’ve nearly swore…*proceeds to swear*, we’ve had a great season, we grinded it out, worked hard and I think we deserved it today. It’s a great team performance.

“Obviously, we don’t know the scores on the pitch-“

JRC: “I did.”

SS: “Did you?!”

JRC: “I knew everything, me!”

SS: “To be 1-0 up, we knew we had to get it over the line. It was great defending and a great pass by Joe for the second–”

JRC: “I overhit it.”

SS: “Mate, it was a perfectly weighted.”

HP: “Great weight.”

All: “Relief as it goes into the net.”

HP: “I nearly caught up to him when he put it in!”

JRC: “Get a video of Pearsy because he was past me before he put it in!”

SS: “It’s a great feeling. One of relief, because it’s been a tough season. We’ve all dug in and got a result. The manager said we had to stick together, which is what we did. We went to Leeds United and won, we’ve come to Leicester City and won, so it’s brilliant.”

JRC: “And another thing, Pearsy was unbelievable today, it pulled off a great save.”

SS: “Also, a change of manager isn’t easy halfway through the season. It’s not easy for him or for us as lads. We’ve adapted, we’re learning every day, so John (Eustace), Keith (Downing) and Matt (Gardiner) deserve great credit, because it’s been tough. We got over the line today, so thank you to them.”