IF there’s one player who epitomises what this current Doncaster Rovers team is all about, it is Iain Hume.
Workhorse Hume has brought passion, energy and commitment in abundance since moving from the other side of the Pennines.
His attitude, which places work ethic above anything else, encapsulates the post-Sean O’Driscoll era at Doncaster; do the ugly things first, value effort over talent.
That’s not to say that the on-loan Preston frontman is short when it comes to quality.
His fine goal against Hartlepool on Saturday - the 29-year-old’s first league goal at the Keepmoat Stadium - was a snapshot of what the Canadian international can do at this level.
While Doncaster may not have been easy on the eye at times this season, Hume’s clinical strike was evidence of the kind of quality that has helped Rovers put some of League One’s lesser lights in their place this term.
And that blend of perspiration and inspiration is the main reason, according to Hume, why Rovers travel to Stadium MK tonight in pole position, sitting top with the finish line now in sight.
You get the feeling listening to Hume, there will be a massive sense of underachievement in the Doncaster dressing room if they do not end the season in that same position.
“We’re a team that belongs to be where we are right now,” said Hume.
“I’ve stated that ever since I joined.
“When you look down the names on the teamsheet here you don’t associate that with a team that’s nowhere but the top.
“We’re up there on merit.
“I know we don’t play the most beautiful football all the time but we’re efficient.
“We proved that on Saturday. No disrespect to the groundsman but the pitch is terrible and it’s one of the hardest pitches to play on in this league.
“But we played the game well and controlled it. They had nothing really to trouble Woodsy.
“That’s the story of our season really.
“We’ve been working hard to do things right with the odd glimpse of quality.
“There are teams in this division that do try and play, like Bournemouth, Tranmere and Swindon.
“But we’ve got a nitty gritty side to our game and we’ve got it in abundance.
“We do have the quality but we also make sure we get out house in order first and then the quality shines through.
“It’s what Dean instilled into us and Brian and Jonah have kept that going.
“We’ll just keep working hard and we’ll get our just deserts.”
Six-goal striker Hume hopes to shake off a niggling back problem in time to retain his place up front this evening, alongside either James Coppinger or Billy Paynter.
Hume’s partnership with Coppinger is the 13th different strike pairing no less employed by Rovers this season.
But it is no coincidence at all that Rovers’ return to winning ways has corresponded with Hume’s recall to the starting line-up, even if the former Tranmere forward is running low on match fitness after a month on the sidelines.
“I missed a month so I’m still getting my fitness back,” he said.
“My back’s been bothering me a bit.
“I think you could see that with the way I was moving on Saturday.
“I was miles off at the weekend but I still got my goal.
“My back seized up on Friday but, me being the silly beggar that I am, I wanted to play.
“It was borderline that I started at Shrewsbury too but I wasn’t about to let the opportunity to start pass me by.
“I’ll keep working. The more game time I get the better I’ll feel.
“I’ve not scored as many goals as I would’ve liked this season but I’m working hard and doing what I’m asked to do.
“As long as I continue to do my job for the team and we keep picking up points I’ll be happy.”