May 3, 2016
Final game live on TV
Doncaster Rovers' final game of the season, when they entertain promotion contenders Burton Albion at the Keepmoat Stadium, is to be shown live on Sky Sports this Sunday.
The match will still kick off at 12.30pm, the same time as all the other games in League One, with the Brewers needing a single point from the game to be sure of promotion to the Championship.
Rovers still need a miracle, although last night's defeat of Fleetwood Town by Walsall means the mathematical possibility of escape continues until the last game, but realistically an inferior goal difference of ten compared with Fleetwood means Rovers have a mountain to climb to address that.
May 3, 2016
McGrath named as new Sports boss
Former Doncaster Rovers midfielder John McGrath has been named as the new manager at Evo-Stik Northern Premier League side Mickleover Sports.The post became vacant when ex-Rovers striker Glenn Kirkwood quit as boss a week last Sunday, with McGrath getting his first taste of football management.
McGrath has his full UEFA A Licence, and was appointed despite the club not actually advertising the position.
Mickleover Sports chairman, Don Amott, told the Tamworth Herald: "Our committee have taken the unusual step of not inviting applications for the position because we were so impressed with John's vision for the first-team and the Academy. He also knows the current players well and is currently a coach in our Academy. John meets all the criteria we had set, including developing the Academy to produce first-team players and bringing back a more local base to the first-team. We believe this will attract more supporters next season and raise the profile of our Academy even further."
John's playing career included playing for Aston Villa, Doncaster Rovers and Burton Albion.
McGrath added: "I've always been keen to get into management. When you get into management, especially at this level which is a really good standard, there's a lot of things to consider. There's pre-season to consider (and) getting players in for the right price. It's a totally different ball-game to what I'm used to. I've joined the other side!"
"Hats off to Glenn and Craig, – someone mentioned last week that it was a bigger achievement staying in the league than coming up last year, and that's right," said McGrath. "You've got Darlington, who've just gone up, as well as Salford City and Workington in this league – big clubs. Anybody who knows me knows I want to be successful. I wouldn't have a position as first team manager just to stand still. That's not to say I'll be happy with mid-table but it's season-by-season."
John still plans to continue his playing career next season.
May 3, 2016
Leicester City supporters are celebrating today after being confirmed as Premier League champions last night following Tottenham Hotspur being held to a 2-2 draw at Chelsea.
We would like to add our congratulations to the club and all associated with them. It is a truly incredible achievement against all the odds, so enjoy your moments of glory!
Leicester are at home to Everton on Saturday in what is likely to turn in to an end of season party, and finish off with a trip to Chelsea, who after last night, are probably their new best friends!
May 3, 2016
Youth Team 0 Rotherham United 0
A keenly fought game at Cantley Park at the weekend saw the two sides contest a goalless draw, meaning the two clubs remain just a point apart in the YOuth Alliance league table.
Rovers had a good claim for a penalty turned down early in the second half when the Rotherham keeper appeared to punch a Rovers player instead of the ball, but the incident was missed by the referee.
Both sides had their chances, but in general they were few and far between, even though the commitment of the players on both sides was plain to see.
Doncaster Rovers: Jones, Bingley, Amos, Hillam, Mbuti, Fielding, James, Parkin, Scattergood (Barnett 80’), Overton (Townrow 88’), Prior (Horton 90’)
Substitutes not used: Leverton, Harrison
Rotherham United: Bilboe, Bailey, Abraham (Murr 33’), Dickinson, Peace-McDonald, Saxton, Bailey-King, Potts, Muskwe, Wiles (Hinds 33’), Redmayne
May 3, 2016
Ferguson plans McSheffrey talks
Doncaster Rovers boss Darren Ferguson has admitted that he is likely to hold talks with Scunthorpe United striker Gary McSheffrey over the prospect of joining Rovers on a full transfer for next season.
McSheffrey, who will be out of contract in the summer, returned to Scunthorpe after a knee injury ruled him out of Rovers' final two games, but Ferguson has been impressed with the contribution of the experienced journeyman during his short time at the club.
Ferguson told the Yorkshire Post: “It’s four to six weeks, so it’s season over. The boy was playing well, with six assists and one goal and brought real quality to us. We have to get on with it, but Gary is clearly a player we have enjoyed working with and he understands exactly how we wanted to play and really enjoyed it."
"We are both open to talking when the season is over about maybe making it permanent. He’s out of contract and the boy really enjoyed it here and had a good time."
May 3, 2016
Knights plan to share Keepmoat
Doncaster Knights are planning to ground share at the Keepmoat Stadium if they succeed in gaining promotion to the Aviva Premiership at the end of this season.
The announcement has been made ahead of the first leg of their promotion play-off semi-final at Yorkshire Carnegie on Sunday.
Their Castle Park base fails to meet the basic standards set by the RFU to stage Premiership rugby, with the ground falling well short of the 10,000 minimum.
An agreement between Club Doncaster and the Knights means that they could be the fourth club to use the Keepmoat Stadium, with the Rovers, Dons and Belles already playing there.
The agreement with the Knights would only be short term, with plans for them to play up to six fixtures at the Keepmoat Stadium next season. During that time, the Castle Park complex will be brought up to RFU standards and allow time for the necessary safety certificate to be issued for temporary stands, which will increase the capacity of their ground.
It is impossible for the Knights to improve facilities in the 14 weeks between promotion being confirmed and the first week in September.
The club have said: "Aside from the huge expense of speculatively doubling the seating and terraced capacity of Castle Park before the outcome of the play-offs was known, the time constraint between one season ending and the next beginning made it impossible to guarantee that Castle Park would be up to standard by the start of the new season."
"A Championship club seeking promotion to the Premiership is required to meet the Minimum Standards Criteria set by the Rugby Football Union and the Professional Game Board. The MSC are exhaustively wide ranging and include an examination of facilities, services, staffs (rugby, medical, administrative, community), policies and procedures. Most of today’s criteria arose following the Hillsborough Stadium disaster which has returned to the public domain in the last 24 hours. Where Castle Park currently falls short is the licensed capacity."
"The starting point was to be able to play at a stadium with a minimum capacity for 10,000 spectators, double the approved capacity of Castle Park. To meet the criteria, the club must have a stadium available that meets all of the specifications by the start of September, just 14 weeks after the second leg of the Championship play-off final. The club has agreed terms for the use of the Keepmoat Stadium and in parallel has been working to meet the capacity criteria at Castle Park through the installation of temporary facilities."
May 1, 2016
Crewe Alexandra 3 Rovers 1
That's just about it, then. Relegation is confirmed for Doncaster Rovers, apart from a possible mathematical miracle, with Rovers having to gain three points on Blackpool and Fleetwood, and overturn a goal difference between Rovers and Fleetwood of 12 goals.
And yet it all started so promisingly, although the start of the game was delayed when parts of the Gresty Road pitch went underwater after a downpour just before kick-off.
Rovers took the lead in the 28th minute, with the impressive Tommy Rowe striking for the visitors. At that stage, Rovers looked good value for their lead, but some awful defending, which has blighted Rovers all season, was to prove to be their undoing.
A defensive howler from Cedric Evina on the stroke of half time allowed Crewe to go in level - even though by then Rovers should have had a lead of more than one goal, with Coppinger heading straight at the goalkeeper, and then a goal by Tyson disallowed for offside.
It got worse for Rovers in the second half, and just short of the hour, the unmarked Saunders having his shot diverted into the patch of Haber, who made no mistake to put Crewe 2-1 up.
Williams then had a chance to put Rovers level but his shot curled wide - and the final insult was delivered in injury time, with Inman clinically finishing for Crewe.
Crewe hadn't won in 16 before this, but they enjoyed this win, even if they have been doomed to relegation for several matches now.
The result sees Rovers playing in League Two for the first time since the 2003/04 season, when they will attempt to rebuild the squad for a promotion challenge.
May 1, 2016
What the managers said
Doncaster Rovers boss Darren Ferguson acknowledged that the team have not been good enough over the whole season to stay in League One, suggesting that the performance in yesterday's game summed the season up in many ways.
He told the Doncaster Free Press: "The feelings are ones of complete disappointment. It's a terrible day for the football club to be relegated into League Two. It's been a terrible season. You're not making 12 goals up. Of course, it's still mathematically possible but you know your own fate."
"In many ways it summed up what I feel has been our problem; the small things that happen in games affect us too much. It's been a consistent thing for me. We've not been strong enough mentally to cope with things that go against us within games and over a period of time."
"We were in complete control of the game. We should be more than 1-0 up, we make a mistake and it's 1-1, and I think that affected us too much when it shouldn't have. It was a really small matter and we still had 45 minutes to win the game. That's been the stand-out for me if you were to ask where the problems have been. Mentally we've not been strong enough to cope with adverse situations. I've said to my players I can't come out when I speak to you guys or when I'm speaking to the fans and make any excuses. There's none that I can make. It's just simply been nowhere near good enough. I've got to learn from certain things that have happened this season and I've got to be ready to go again next season, which I will be."
"There will be big changes. I've got to make sure the recruitment is right next season. But League Two has been very competitive this season and we're going to be a big scalp down there."We've got to make sure we're back in League One this time next year. I can see a clear pattern and I've got to fix it. We've had good discussions [with the board] and I'll be ready for the challenge."
Crewe boss Steve Davis admitted that it was a big relief to have won their first match since February, coming back from a goal behind to register all three points.
He told the Stoke Sentinel: "It has come probably three months too late, but you still need to win games and hopefully that gets people smiling again. Their goal, it dropped to the lad and it hit Harry, could have gone anywhere, but found its way in to the bottom corner and that's the way things have been going. Callum showed great tenacity for his goal, Marcus had a chance before that but managed to get a good finish in the second half. For the third, Brad cut inside and found the corner with a great strike so three good goals in different ways."
"I was just pleased to win our final home game and hopefully that can carry us forward. We now want to go to Fleetwood and try and win there and end the season with some good results and performances and hopefully that can be a real plus. Apart from blocking crosses I thought we defended the box well, won our headers, and under pressure we cleared the ball well. We looked strong and I didn't think at any point in that second half we were going to concede and that's a really good feeling. We had to do a job, we wanted to win the game, we knew they would have a right go and we stood up to that well and played some decent football at times. We stuck to our task against a side who had a lot riding on today so full credit to the lads."
May 1, 2016
Goals review
This week's review of goals scored by former Doncaster Rovers players is limited, with much of the non-league fixtures having ended, but we begin in League One, where Marc Antone-Fortune struck in the third minute for Coventry City in their home game against Sheffield United. Ex-Rovers striker Billy Sharp pulled one back from the penalty spot for the Blades just short of the hour mark, but Coventry went on to a 3-1 victory.
Defender Byron Webster scored twice for Millwall in their 3-0 home win over Oldham Athletic.
Ex-Rovers striker Dene Shields had a good week - first he scored twice for defending champions of the Maltese Division One club Xewkija Tigers as they defeated Oratory Youths 4-1 to close up on leaders Ghajnsielem.
He then scored when they played Ghajnsielem on the last day of the regular season, with Xewkija Tigers winning the game 3-0, with Shields scoring in the 53rd and 60th minutes in front of their biggest crowd in years. The victory means that a title decider will now be played at the Gozo Stadium on May 8th.
May 1, 2016
Supporters Club Dinner Dance
The Retford Branch of the Doncaster Rovers Supporters Club have announced that they will hold their annual dinner dance at the Mount Pleasant Hotel on Friday, 13th May.
It will cost £27 each, and starts at 8pm, with a three course meal, raffle and Away Player of the Year presentation to be included in the evening. There is a bar extension until midnight, with all finishing at 12.30pm.
To book, please phone Paul Mayfield (07961 727769) or any committee member.
They are providing free transport from Doncaster at the following times: The Star, Barnby Dun (6.30pm), Armthorpe 6.40pm, Doncaster Royal Infirmary 6.55pm, Waterdale (opposite Library) 7.05pm, Rossington (Styrrup) 7.15pm and Harworth (Pit Gates) 7.20pm. Please enquire for details when booking your ticket for the dinner/dance.
April 30, 2016
Crewe Alexandra v Rovers
Another weekend, another game that Rovers will have to win if they are to stand a chance of staying in League One. At least now, there is more confidence in the squad that the match can be won, and they are playing the already relegated Crewe Alexandra - not that this will make their task any easier.
Two wins in the last two games have been accompanied by two good performances, and boss Darren Ferguson is calling for another high-tempo pressing game to overwhelm their opponents again today.
Rovers are reported to have no new injury concerns for today's game, but the injury to Gary McSheffrey means that Nathan Tyson is likely to be recalled to the starting eleven today. Dany N'Guessan and Paul Keegan continue their absences, while the remains a doubt over whether Richard Chaplow will recover from his hamstring injury in time - next week's game against Burton is a more likely date for his return.
Crewe boss Steve Davis is urging his side to win their last home game of the season, and could name an unchanged side this afternoon after being pleased with the improved display against Oldham Athletic last time out. Billy Bingham has a slight knee injury, and Callum Ainley could replace him this afternoon. Brad Inman is pushing for a recall after playing 60 minutes of a behind closed doors friendly against Stoke City during the week. He has been out with an ankle injury for the last month.
Lauri Dalla Valle also could return after missing last week's game due to illness.
April 30, 2016
Ferguson calls for high energy game
Rovers boss Darren Ferguson has left his players under no doubt that they need to build on their last two wins with a victory at Gresty Road this afternoon to keep their dreams of survival alive for another week.
Even though the Rovers squad is getting light on numbers, Ferguson is under no doubt that they have the ability to extend their winning streak to three games.
He told the Doncaster Star this week: "They have got the energy and they’ve shown it. That can go out of the window because you just have to get on with it. You make sure you have the energy. And they’ve had a good gap since the win over Coventry. They’ll get a day extra before the Burton game on the last day but we’ve got to concentrate on Saturday first."
"The pressure drives it. Mentally, we’ve just got to get it done. We are pretty much down to the bare bones in terms of numbers but with two games to go, you’d like to think we can cover that."
He continued: "The boys have been buoyant and spirits have been good this week,” said Darren Ferguson. The message will be exactly the same as it has been. Last week the message was get it down to the final two games and tomorrow the message will be get it to the very last game, but make sure you perform to the levels you have done recently. What I do know is that this team is a team that can be good over a short period of time, we’ve proved that."
"We have to do our job, I’ve said to the players not to focus on anything else but beating Crewe. Psychologically if we get the win tomorrow we will be in a really good place going into the final day of the season. The players are totally focussed and fully understand what they’ve got to do. They know they can’t take their foot off the gas"
April 30, 2016
Today's match officials
The match officials appointed by the Football League for this afternoon's away game at Crewe Alexandra are:
Referee; Lee Swabey
Assistant referees: Philip Dermott and Declan Bourne
Fourth official: James Mainwaring
April 30, 2016
Ferguson - it could come down to goal difference
Darren Ferguson suspects that Doncaster Rovers' hopes of surviving in League One could come down to goal difference, with Rovers having a better goal difference than three of the four teams within their reach.
Fleetwood's difference is far better than Rovers' - Rovers are on -14, and Fleetwood on -4.
Chesterfield and Shrewsbury need two points from their final two games to be certain of survival without having to rely on other results, and one win for Fleetwood would effectively be enough due to their goal difference superiority. Blackpool are just one point above Rovers and have a goal difference of -15, so it could be close. Very close.
Ferguson commented: "I have had a look at it because it is important. I think you have to because if you finish level with Fleetwood, they are way ahead of us. But the other teams are behind us, Blackpool, Shrewsbury and Chesterfield. I think it could be factor."
However, Ferguson will not be risking too much to improve the goal difference substantially, saying: "I’m not looking at it that much where we’ll go for it to get more goals. Shrewsbury, Blackpool and Chesterfield, if they win their games then there’s nothing we can do. But if it goes to goal difference, we’re above all three of them, which is really important."
April 30, 2016
Yates sacked
Former Rovers player Mark Yates has been sacked as manager of League Two club Crawley Town after the club suffered six successive defeats.
Yates replaced John Gregory on a two year deal in May 2015, but has won only 13 of the 47 games in charge. Crawley were recently bought buy foreign businessman Ziya Eren in March, who has set a target of reaching the Championship in eight to ten years.
A club statement read: "The recent form and performance of the team suggests change is needed. The board will be interviewing potential candidates in the next few days to make the right appointment to move the club forward. The days and weeks ahead will determine the right path for the club."
Crawley are comfortably above the danger of relegation, and enjoy a 12 point cushion on the already relegated York City and Dagenham & Redbridge.
April 29, 2016
Wheater takes pay cut to finish season
Ex-Rovers defender David Wheater has agreed to take a big pay cut to allow him to play in the final few games for Bolton Wanderers. He is set to sacrifice more than £10,000 to play, waiving his appearance bonus for the club, who are already relegated from the Championship.
He is out of contract in the summer, but is determined to end the season by playing, even though boss Jimmy Phillips is under instructions not to play any players who trigger extra payments - midfielder Jay Spearing will not feature this season as a £100,000 bonus is payable to former club Liverpool if he plays one more game.
Wheater is Bolton's second longest serving player, and has played only 115 games in five years as injuries have limited his availability.
April 29, 2016
Sheridan coy on whether he wants to sign Curtis
Oldham Athletic boss John Sheridan is refusing to confirm whether he would be interested in signing Doncaster Rovers striker Curtis Main on a permanent basis. Main has come into form in the last few games for the Latics after opting to stay at the club for the rest of the season instead of returning to help Rovers in their relegation fight.
Sheridan commented to the Oldham Chronicle: "Curtis has done really well and I am sure he will want to carry on in the same vein, continuing to score goals and benefiting the team. But there are loads of decisions to make and I won’t be openly going into it at this moment in time."
April 29, 2016
Wabara named in Team of the Year
Former Doncaster Rovers defender Reece Wabara has been named in the PFA Team of the Year for League One, and is one of four Wigan Athletic players to be named in the eleven. Also included is former Rovers midfielder Mark Duffy, who has been on loan at Burton Albion all season.
The full League One XI is: McLaughlin (Burton), Wabara (Wigan), Egan (Gillingham), Morgan (Wigan), Henry (Walsall), Wildschut (Wigan), Dack (Gillingham), Sawyers (Walsall), Duffy (Burton), Grigg (Wigan), Armstrong (Coventry).
April 29, 2016
Roves big payers to agents
Doncaster Rovers paid the fourth most in League One to football agents for the four month period between October 1st 2015 and February 1st 2016.
Rovers paid out £54,936 during that time, with only Wigan Athletic, Sheffield United and Millwall paying more - Wigan spent £164,268, almost a quarter of all payments to agents for the whole division.
Four clubs - Bury, Peterborough United, Rochdale and Swindon Town - spent nothing on agents fees during that time.
Sheffield United spent £116,488 on agents fees - in comparison to Sheffield Wednesday, who are presently in the Championship, who spent £264,988, which is 10th in their division.
April 29, 2016
Saunders favourite for Crawley job
Former Doncaster Rovers boss Dean Saunders is the early favourite to be the new manager at Crawley Town, who sacked Mark Yates and his assistant Jimmy Dack last week after a run of six successive defeats.
Also listed as early favourites by the bookies is former Rovers defender Russell Wilcox, who was recently sacked at York City, ex-Yeovil boss Gary Johnson and Leeds boss Steve Evans.
April 28, 2016
Ferguson - just look one game ahead
The old footballing saying "taking one match at a time" is certainly the way that Darren Ferguson is treating the countdown to the end of the season. While he knows that Rovers have to win both matches to have a reasonable chance of staying in League One, he is telling the players that they have to concentrate on beating Crewe Alexandra on Saturday before thinking any further ahead.
Speaking to DROS earlier this week, he said: "All I said to the players was get it to the Crewe game and now all I’ll say is take it to the last game. We’ve got that mentality where you need to win the game and that stands us in good stead. We go to Crewe and we have to win that while Fleetwood don’t play until Monday so that will make it nervy for them. We can catch four teams so that’s okay but we’ve just got to do our own job. The players are believing in what we’re doing, playing well and enjoying it. We don’t want it to be a case of too little too late, six points is what we need and we hope then that we get a little bit of luck that we’ve not had."
"We have to maintain it. If we perform like that then I’m confident we can get to 51 (points) and then you need a little bit of luck," he added.
April 28, 2016
Anderson back in training
Former Rovers loan striker Keshi Anderson is on the way back from his broken leg and has returned to training with his club, Crystal Palace.
Anderson had been impressing during his loan at Rovers, but the season-ending injury came in November, when he broke his leg whilst playing against Rochdale.
He posted a series of tweets earlier this month, which said: "Had a great weeks training. Monday the Dr gave me the all clear to step up my rehabilitation again; have been jogging on the anti-gravity machine all week, that being the first time in 6 months. Insha'Allah by next Thursday I'll be back running outside. Yesterday I took another big step & finally struck a ball on my injured foot, which was a very happy moment for me after everything. Time to push on with this and make sure I'm back fitter, stronger & better for pre season."
Keshi joined Palace in February 2015 when he moved from non-league Barton Rovers, and after failing to impress in a loan at Watford, dazzled Rovers fans when he then moved to the Keepmoat Stadium, scoring three goals in nine games at a time of the season when Rovers were flying following Darren Ferguson's arrival.
April 28, 2016
Ferguson - in it for the long haul
Boss Darren Ferguson is still confident that Doncaster Rovers can complete the 'great escape' by winning their final two games of the season, but even if they falter, he is confident of what he needs to do to turn the club's fortunes around.
Speaking to the Yorkshire Post, he commented: "All along, I have maintained I need to get my full grip on the club and don’t think one transfer window is enough for that, absolutely not. The board have been great and we stand together on it."
"Clearly it has not gone in the way anyone would have expected or wanted. But I have to look at the bigger picture. When I came in, it wasn’t just about this season, although clearly I didn’t think we would be in this mess. It was always about the structure of the club and how I wanted to change that and see the club in the next three of four years as opposed to just this year. In the summer, I can really start looking at how I want to make changes, both in personnel and in other areas of the club. I think the board can see what I am trying to do."
"The results have been nowhere near good enough, but the board have had to stay strong. At a lot of other clubs, the manager could have gone, but I think they understand what I am trying to do."
He added: "I don’t want people to take things the wrong way. It would really hurt if we went out of this league, but if you drop into League Two, I could see us picking this club right up as the momentum would gather very quickly. I have done it before with Peterborough and it’s been done many times before. But we are not focusing on that yet."
April 28, 2016
Gooch signs new deal at Black Cats
Sunderland striker Lynden Gooch has signed a new three year contract at the Stadium of Light, impressing enough with their Under-21s and while on loan at Rovers to persuade them to offer him an extended stay at the club.
The 20 year old USA Under-23 international saw his loan at Rovers ended prematurely due to an ankle injury, but made ten appearances during a two month stint at Rovers.
He becomes the latest of a number of youngsters to sign new deals at Sunderland, and it means he will be staying at the club until the summer of 2019.
April 28, 2016
Diouf flies in for gala night
Ex-Doncaster Rovers striker El-Hadjii Diouf has jetted in to Banjul for the 7th National Sports Award and Gala Night, organised by the sports Journalists Association of Gambia.
Diouf, now aged 35, is attending the awards night for the second time, and will be one of the star names at the ceremony.
The controversial former Senegalese international last played for Sabah, and turned out for Rovers during the 2011/12 season following the club's relegation from the Championship.
April 27, 2016
Steer for chance at Villa
Goalkeeper Jed Steer may have had to go out on loan on a number of occasions to get first team football, but reports from Birmingham suggest that one consequence of Villa's relegation from the Premier League will be that he gets his chance in their first team next season.
Although decisions over the new manager will inevitably influence the final decision, but plans at the club have already touched on the rebuilding of the squad, with a number of high earners set to move out over the summer. This season's first choice, Brad Guzan, is highly tipped to be released, while veteran Mark Bunn will remain as back-up keeper.
Steer, now aged 23, was signed by former boss Paul Lambert from Norwich City in 2013, but has only made one Premier League appearance since, with loans at Rovers (2014/15), Yeovil Town (2014/15) and this season at Huddersfield Town, and he will remain with Huddersfield until the end of the season.
His experience in the Championship
April 27, 2016
Rovers post profit
Things may not have gone so well on the pitch this season for Doncaster Rovers, but the club's holding company, Patienceform, have recently issued their accounts for the year ending June 2015, which show that a loss of £1.288 million in the previous year has been turned into a pre-tax profit of £2.307 million.
That comes despite a drop into League One and a consequent reduction in income, although 'commercial income' went down by only a little over 1%.
Most notable was a reduction in wages and salaries from £6.618 million to £3.741 million, despite actually increasing the number of 'football staff' in that time - from 63 up to 88. Administrative staff also rose from 23 to 27, but stadium staff were cut from 144 to 53.
Rovers received a total of £310,000 from player departures during that time - and a large benefit to the club came with former club owner John Ryan writing off a loan of £4.066 million when he ended his association with Doncaster Rovers.
Patienceform received a £1.5 million loan from Club Doncaster Ltd, while accounts also reveal that Terry Bramall and Dick Watson secured loans of £1.3 million against the club's leasehold assets.
Bramall and Watson's loans to the club went up by £175,000 each during the year, meaning each man's holding in the club is now a shade over £5 million, and the total share value of the club now stands at £12.296 million.
April 27, 2016
Ferguson admits he had "no influence" on Main's loan deal
Boss Darren Ferguson has admitted that he had "no influence" on the terms of the loan of Curtis Main to Oldham Athletic, and was powerless to intervene when the striker decided to remain at Oldham for the rest of the season, rather than return to Rovers after his initial month in Lancashire.
The 23 year old striker still has a year left on his Rovers contract, but it will be interesting to see whether Ferguson decides to listen to offers for Main during the summer.
The loan to Oldham was set up in such a way that both clubs and the player all had to agree to a recall - and the player decided he had a better chance of first team football to stay with Oldham.
Ferguson told the Doncaster Free Press: "It’s something I had no influence on, to be honest, the way the deal was done. It was done in a way that all three parties had to agree to it. It’s unfortunate that the three parties have to agree to it."
"When he first went out on loan it was the right thing to do because he needed games. It’s just worked out that the boy wanted to stay there, so it’s an unfortunate situation. But I’m not going to sit here and blame Curtis Main for us not winning in however many games, because that’s not right. Let’s get this right, it’s not helped the problem but it’s not created the problem, put it that way."
April 27, 2016
McSheffrey backs Ferguson
On-loan striker Gary McSheffrey may have had to return to parent club Scunthorpe United to get a scan done on a knee injury this week, but he is convinced that Darren Ferguson is the right manager for Doncaster Rovers, despite the club continuing to be in a desperate battle against relegation.
He told the Doncaster Star before picking up the knee injury, which looks like ending his season: "I think he’s really good. His attention to detail is really good and tactically he seems bang on with everything. I really respect his opinion. I think he’s the right man for this place and I’m really enjoying working with him."
April 27, 2016
Rowe eases to victory in voting
Midfielder Tommy Rowe has eased to a convincing victory as the "Man of the Match" for Saturday's home game against Coventry City, winning three out of every four votes cast. That put him way ahead of the other four players to receive nominations this week.
The most votes were cast as follows:
1 Tommy Rowe (75.86%)
2 Andy Butler (10.34%)
3 Cedric Evina (6.90%)
Thanks to everyone who took the time to vote - the next voting will open after Saturday's away game at Crewe Alexandra.
April 26, 2016
Kirkwood quits at Mickleover
Former Doncaster Rovers striker Glenn Kirkwood has resigned as manager at Evo-Stik League club Mickleover Sports.
The announcement was made after the club had completed their fixture list for the season, with both Kirkwood and his joint management colleague Craig Hopkins standing down.
They leave Sports after a three and a half year stay at the club, during which time they got Mickleover promoted to the Evo-Stik Premier Division as champions last season. It has been a tough season, with Mickleover avoiding relegation by just a point with a game to spare, during which time they have competed against clubs with much larger playing budgets.
Kirkwood told the Derby Telegraph: "I think we can hold our heads up high. And by that, I don't mean just Craig and I but everyone at the club. Everyone has been pulling in the same direction the whole time we were there and staying up this season has been a massive achievement. This year has been tough. We knew it would be but it's been even tougher than we realised. Now Craig and I are ready for a break. We both have young families – my partner and I have recently had our second child – and we're looking forward to a summer off."
"It's been our decision. It's been coming for a couple of months but we wanted to make sure we kept them up first. We always had the belief that we would beat the drop. A lot of the time, the football is like a full-time job and yet Craig and I both also have full-time jobs. We have left Mickleover on the best possible terms and I'd like to thank everyone there for all they do – not just the committee but people like the bar staff and the groundsman. Everyone at the club has been so passionate about taking them forward. It's hard to say goodbye to so many friends and we leave with so many good memories."
However, Kirkwood confirmed that it is unlikely to be his last managerial job, adding: "It will be nice to have a break and recharge our batteries. And, yes, it's in our blood. We're really looking forward to summer with our families but they'll probably be kicking us out of our houses before too long!"
April 26, 2016
Carden after Chester job
Ex-Rovers midfielder Paul Carden has thrown his hat into the ring for the managerial vacancy at Conference club Chester FC. He was sacked as manager at Southport earlier this season, but is keen to get back into football management.
He admitted to the Chester Leader: "It was very disappointing to lose my job at Southport, but they have had a revolving door with managers in the last few years. I could have worked with Gary Brabin at Tranmere, but I decided to give management a go on my own at Southport and I was disappointed that things didn’t work out for me. It was a massive learning curve for me at Southport, but I managed to keep the club up last season and a lot of people will have perceived that I failed there, but I would love to right a few wrongs if I got the Chester job."
He added: "I am very interested in the Chester job and I would love the chance to work at a club that I have a lot of fondness for. I was at the club for a long time, I played a lot of games at Chester, and I have always followed them since my time there. I can truthfully say that I am the club’s biggest fan because I won the league with Chester and that was my biggest success as a player. I am very passionate about football and about Chester and there is no reason why I can’t bring the club more success."
April 26, 2016
Baldwin hopes for new sponsors after Thailand trip
Rovers CEO Gavin Baldwin has recently returned from a business trip to Thailand to meet the new kit suppliers, FBT.
He reports in his recent column in the Doncaster Free Press that he has identified a number of potential sponsors and some "certain future sponsors" for the club, which should result in extra income for the club in coming years.
Very interestingly, the club's new "friends" in Thailand are keen for the Rovers to tour the country as part of the pre-season of the 2017/18 season, with the club already trying to tie up deals with hotels so supporters can follow the club if they so wish.
Interesting times indeed!
April 24, 2016
Rovers 2 Coventry City 0
The "Great Escape" is still on - but the chances of Rovers escaping from the clutches of relegation still hang by the proverbial thread, as they remain three points adrift of safety with just two games to go.
Rovers imposed themselves well on Saturday's home game against Coventry City, with the visitors struggling to exert much pressure on Rovers. Two goals in the first half were the difference, with Rovers not allowing Coventry any chance to cause them any problems, and a thoroughly professional performance after the break finished the job off.
Rovers were missing Richard Chaplow, who picked up a hamstring injury in training on Friday, with Riccardo Calder replacing him in midfield - but another concern will be the injury to the influential Gary McSheffrey, who left the field before the half hour mark with what appears to be a season-ending injury.
The deadlock was broken midway through the first half when Tommy Rowe glanced the ball home from a McSheffrey corner, and the lead was doubled on 32 minutes when Nathan Tyson, McSheffrey's replacement, crossed from the left for Andy Williams to head home at the far post.
Rovers successfully contained Coventry after the break, but went close to a third goal, but Andy Butler's header was saved by the Coventry goalkeeper.
Remi Matthews did have to make a couple of saves, but Coventry boss Tony Mowbray bemoaned an "insipid" performance by his side after the game.
The downsides to the afternoon were Shrewsbury's unexpected 3-2 win at Gillingham - the Fleetwood v Blackpool game ended level, but that means that the five point deficit before the game has now been closed to three. It will still mean that Rovers have to win both games to have a decent chance of getting out of the bottom four - but with Fleetwood to play Crewe on the final day of the season, it's still in the balance.
April 25, 2016
McSheffrey injury fear
Rovers boss Darren Ferguson fears that striker Gary McSheffrey may have played his last game of the season after being forced off with an injury midway through the first half of Saturday's home game against Coventry City.
With only two games to go this season, Ferguson doubts that McSheffrey will recover in time to play in either game, but the player will be having a scan to see exactly how serious the problem is.
Ferguson told BBC Radio Sheffield after the game: "He's jarred his knee. I think that'll be him out for the season. We don't know yet. He'll go back to Scunny for a scan. He just joked to me there that they [Scunthorpe] are two points off the play-offs and he'll be fit for the play-offs! He's been excellent for us; seven games, six assists, one goal. He's got a real bit of quality at that end of the pitch, which we needed."
Midfielder Richard Chaplow could also be ruled out for the final two games after suffering a hamstring injury in training on Friday.
April 25, 2016
Fergie optimistic of catching up
On the back of two successive wins, boss Darren Ferguson is hoping that the upturn in confidence in the squad will play a big part towards their goal of winning the final two games of the season, which could be enough to see Rovers out of the relegation places.
And he hopes that the nerves may start jangling at teams just above Rovers in the table when they see the gap being closed.
Ferguson told the Doncaster Star: "Teams are going to be edgy if they are looking over their shoulder and you just can’t see a win coming. When you’re chasing teams it’s easier, especially when you’ve got momentum at this part of a season. We’ve got a bit of momentum now. You can see the belief. There’s four teams we can still catch with two games to go. All we spoke about last week was take it to the Crewe game. And all we’ll speak about this week is take it to the last game."
"I think one thing we’ve had in our advantage is that every game we’ve played, certainly the last three, we’ve had to win. We’ll have that mentality if we can get it to the last game. We have to win every game we play. Another slight advantage next weekend is that Fleetwood don’t play until Monday, If we win, we’re level with Fleetwood."
April 25, 2016
Youth Team 3 Burton Albion 0
Doncaster Rovers fielded a young side for Saturday's youth team game against title contenders Burton Albion, and went on to dominate with a convincing 3-0 victory.
A number of second year players at the club have left after failing to secure professional contracts, with two 'regulars', Joe Pugh and defender Kevin Mbuti, turning out with a number of first year youth teamers.
Rovers went in front in the 12th minute from the penalty spot after Matthew Overton was brought down, with Joe Pugh rifling home the spot kick.
That was the extent of the scoring in the first half, and it took barely a minute for Rovers to extend their lead after the break. Another foul in the penalty area, but this time Will Longbottom stepped up to dispatch the spot kick with aplomb.
Further chances fell to Rovers, but it took until the last minute of the game for their third goal to arrive, with a short corner seeing the ball fired across the penalty area for Kevin Mbuti to get the final touch and turn the ball into the net.
Doncaster Rovers: Jones, Fielding, Amos, Walker (James 22’), Mbuti, Bingley, Henderson, Parkin, Pugh (C), Overton (Scattergood 70’), Longbottom
Substitutes not used: Townrow, Hillam
Burton Albion: Walker (Hawkins 83’), Cotterill, Hutchinson, Hallahan, Smith, Gatter, Dowd, Matthews, Davies, Sbarra, Steele
Substitutes not used: Harrison, Brown, Saville, Henchcliffe
April 25, 2016
Cycle race parking at stadium
Doncaster Rovers have confirmed that the car parks at the Keepmoat Stadium will be open for use on Saturday for anyone wanting to watch the Tour de Yorkshire cycle race.
The stadium will have 800 parking spaces available for £5 per car, although season ticket holders will be given a £1 discount if they pre book by phoning 01302 762576.
Any supporters intending to park at the ground to catch a Supporters Club coach to the away game at Crewe Alexandra should use the "inner ring" around the stadium, which will be free of charge. The coach will collect fans at 11am.
April 24, 2016
What the managers said
Doncaster Rovers boss Darren Ferguson praised his players after Saturday's victory against Coventry City, but continued to stress that they have to keep that kind of performance - and more importantly the results - for the remaining games.
He told BBC Radio Sheffield after the game: "It was a very good performance. From the moment we went ahead we were quite relentless in what we did. I was just a little bit disappointed we didn’t make it more than two but you can’t ask for much more than that. We worked a lot on making sure we got against [John] Fleck in the middle of the pitch, he’s the one that tries to dictate, pressing them as much as possible and keeping a really high line."
"They did it well. The players were given instructions and they were very good today at executing them. We thoroughly deserved the win. We’ve just got to maintain it now against Crewe and Burton."
"As a team we’ve got a bit of momentum now. You can see the belief. It’s been a long time since we’ve had such a dominating victory, but it shows the players have got a good temperament to play that well in must-win games. We played well against Wigan too and as manager I’ve been pleased with them lately."
"The first goal was really important because their best period was the opening part of the game. But after we got the first I felt we’d go on and win the game. We can’t control what happens elsewhere. The Fleetwood result now is probably a good one, the draw [against Blackpool]. We can still catch four teams. If we lose to Crewe it’s over. If we lose to Burton it’s over. We’ve got to focus on winning those games."
Coventry boss Tony Mowbray reckoned that his side's performance was the worst of the year, with the result killing off any lingering prospects of them keeping in touch with the play-off places.
He told BBC Coventry & Warwickshire: "I feel as disappointed as I've been in the team all year. Where is the team that we saw beat Gillingham 4-0, Millwall 4-0, Wigan 2-0? Maybe it's a bit too much for a few young players. I'm really disappointed for the supporters who've come out for them. In my mind the promotion push was over quite a while ago, while mathematically you could still do it and you keep going but I don't think it was realistic to think that we were going to do that."
"That was as poor as we’ve been all year and I’m as frustrated with the team as I have been. I can’t think we’ve produced such an insipid performance – maybe Southend away – and I’m really disappointed for the supporters who saw that first half today. I haven’t felt like that too often; even when we were on a bad run we were always in the games, lost some tight matches we maybe didn’t deserve to, but today was different. We talked about how well they’d done in the last two games when there was a need to fight but there was a distinct lack of it today."
"Maybe it’s just a bit too much for a few of them; maybe my mistake was putting faith in some young players at the top end of the pitch and in hindsight I should perhaps have put some more physical players on the pitch to start with. I knew that today we’d have to defend well against a team on the front foot, pressing high up, but I thought we could break away on the counter-attack and use some speed and directness. It didn’t pan out that way."
April 24, 2016
Match highlights
Sky Sports are showing edited highlights of Saturday's home game against Coventry City on their web site.
To view them, please click on their logo to the left.
April 24, 2016
Goals review
This week's review of former Doncaster Rovers players scoring goals begins in the Championship, where David Cotterill put Birmingham City in front in the 73rd minute of their game at Huddersfield Town. It wasn't enough to give the Blues all three points though, as the home side levelled nine minutes later, with the game ending 1-1.
In League One, Jonathan Forte scored the only goal of the game for Oldham Athletic in their home game against bottom club Crewe Alexandra, while Theo Robinson netted in the 37th minute for Port Vale as they comfortably beat Rochdale 4-1.
Dropping down into the National League, Michael Rankine scored twice - both three minutes into added time, at the end of each half, for Altrincham as they hammered Welling United 5-0. Lee Fowler scored Wrexham's second goal, but they still went down to a 3-2 home defeat against Braintree Town.
Finally, Rob O'Brien scored Farsley Celtic's first goal in their Evo-Stik First Division North home game against Radcliffe Borough. They won the game 2-1.
April 23, 2016
Rovers v Coventry City
Again, it's make or break time for Doncaster Rovers, who realistically have to try and win all three of their remaining games and even then hope that other results go their way.
A loss against Coventry could mean, if other results go against Rovers, that relegation is confirmed today - but with numerous other permutations also available, Rovers are concentrating on the first objective - a win this afternoon.
Rovers have no new injury problems for this afternoon's game, and Darren Ferguson could select from the same squad that played against Chesterfield on Tuesday evening.
Paul Keegan and Dany N'Guessan continue to be absent with hamstring and toe injuries respectively, but Nathan Tyson could be hoping for a recall to the starting eleven, as could Riccardo Calder.
For Coventry City, Jordan Willis made a return during the week in Coventry's Development XI after a lengthy absence due to an ankle injury and could be in with a chance of making today's squad. However, Reda Johnson and Lee Burge will definitely miss the game with long-term injuries.
Jordi Jones returns to the squad after recovering from illness.
Apart from that, boss Tony Mowbray has to decide which loan players to include and which to leave out - they have more than the five allowed to be included in today's squad. There has been talk of Mowbray giving some youngsters a taste of first team football, but will it come in this game?
Coventry are six points away from the bottom play-off spot with three games left, and could be going full out to keep in touch with the top six.
April 23, 2016
Can Rovers escape?
Boss Darren Ferguson still believes that Doncaster Rovers could escape relegation by winning their final three games, but if he were to achieve it, he stresses that he will not be celebrating.
He told the Doncaster Free Press this week: "The fans and everyone at the football club would be delighted [if we don’t go down]. But personally I certainly wouldn’t be having a party about it. We’d be absolutely delighted given the position we were in. But there’d be no celebrations about staying in League One."
Rovers could be as close as two points away from safety by 5pm this evening if they can win, but if Shrewsbury and Fleetwood win, Rovers could be relegated if they are defeated by Coventry.
It should be an interesting afternoon, especially with Fleetwood and Blackpool, the two teams immediately above Rovers, playing each other!
April 23, 2016
Darren looks forward
Rovers boss Darren Ferguson knows that Rovers have to win this afternoon, and then they can focus on the next two games.
He admits that even three wins from three games may not be enough, saying: "With three left, we do need nine points. It’s in our hands now; we have to do our job on Saturday. I’m not overly bothered about other results; we’ve got to concentrate (on ourselves). I think it’s a clear case of we have to win three games now."
"The message is simple to the players; focus on the game in front of you, do your job, hopefully get the win and take it to the next one. If we do that, then I’ll be happy. I think we’re fully aware of our responsibilities as when you go from one league to another it can have ramifications all through the football club."
He added: "We hope that the fans get right behind us, which I’m sure they will. They were excellent again on Tuesday. They can see a team that’s really fighting to stay in the league. We’re going to need everyone, of course we are. It’d be great if we could get it down to the last game in front of our own fans. I think that would make a big difference. But we’re just focused on Coventry and we’ve got to make sure we’ve got the same passion and energy about us that we had in our last home game."
April 23, 2016
Today's match officials
The match officials appointed by the Football League for this afternoon's home game against Coventry City are:
Referee: Darren Handley
Assistant referees: Michael Denton and Glen Hart
Fourth official: David Storrie
April 23, 2016
McIndoe hearing goes on
The ongoing bankruptcy hearing of former Rovers midfielder Michael McIndoe continued at the Royal Courts of Justice in London last week, when it was revealed that a well known Championship manager lost up to £400,000 in an "investment scheme" linked to McIndoe.
Scotland Yard are due to speak to the manager, who was once a close friend of McIndoe, as well as a "little known defender" who has played in non-league and League Two, who is described as a 'key witness'.
A source said: "This manager was a close friend of McIndoe and put a lot of trust in him. He has lost a small fortune worth around £400,000 and feels betrayed. From speaking to other witnesses, police are now looking at the role of a non-league player as a possible suspect in the case."
More than fifty footballers have been interviewed, with 17 men owed nearly £3.5 million, according to a list compiled by McIndoe's official receiver.
At a bankruptcy hearing at the Royal Courts Of Justice, Registrar Nicholas Briggs, said more inquiries were needed. He said he was satisfied that McIndoe was co-operating with inquiries. Another hearing is set to take place later this year.
April 22, 2016
The nightmare of relegation
Rovers boss Darren Ferguson thinks that it would be an "absolute nightmare" if the club were to be relegated, but stresses that they must keep their focus on making sure that they win the final three games of the season.
Speaking to BBC Radio Sheffield, Ferguson said: "I said when we had five games to go the minimum we needed was four wins and a draw. There's no getting away from the fact that it would be an absolute nightmare if we got relegated for all different reasons."
He continued: "We've managed to keep ourselves alive and the message to the players is 'focus on the game in front of you, do your job and hopefully take it to the next game'."
He has revealed that all the players and playing staff will face pay cuts if Rovers go down, adding: "There'll be salary cuts and everyone is aware of what the ramifications will be. It's simply the way it should be done. If you go up a league then you get an increase and if you get relegated it goes down. Everyone is fully aware of their responsibilities."
"It’s clear that for everyone, from the players, myself, staff, there’ll obviously be salary cuts. The club have acted accordingly. It’s large in some cases. We’ve been fully aware of that for a while, and I think the club have been very sensible."
He added: “We’re fully aware of the responsibilities we have [in view of the fact that people’s livelihoods could be at stake] and when you go from one league to another it can have ramifications all through the football club. There’s no getting away from the fact it would be an absolute nightmare if we got relegated for all different reasons. Footballing-wise is the one I look at, in terms of the fact it’s not where we want to be as a football club. We’re not getting away from that, but we still feel we’ve got a chance [of staying up]."
April 22, 2016
Voting results v Chesterfield
We received nominations for five different players in the "Man of the Match" voting for Tuesday evening's away game at Chesterfield.
Northern Ireland international Luke McCullough led the way with a clear victory. The players receiving the most votes were:
1 Luke McCullough (61.54%)
2 Andy Butler (15.38%)
Thank you to everyone for taking the time to place your vote - the next poll will open after Saturday's game against Coventry City.
April 22, 2016
Ferguson - Rovers must focus on own games
Boss Darren Ferguson has stressed that he and the players will be concentrating on winning their final three games, and letting the results in other games look after themselves.
He has already said that Rovers must win their last three games to stay up, but with the permutations of what happens if other results happen could make things overly complicated.
He told the Doncaster Star: "There’s all sorts of permutations. If Fleetwood win you could go above Blackpool. If Blackpool win you can catch all three if Shrewsbury lose. I could go on and on but it would drive me mad."
"Let’s just beat Coventry. It doesn’t matter what the other results are, we have to win. We have to win three games. I do think if we win on Saturday and we get the right results we’ve got a right chance going into the last two games. Saturday’s massive. It’s probably the biggest game we’ve had for a long time at this club."
He closed by adding: "The message is simple to the players - just focus on the game in front of you and do your job, hopefully get the win and take it to the next one. If we do that I’ll be happy. We’ve managed to get it down to three games and our aim is to get it down to the last game if we can."
Rovers have no new injury problems ahead of the weekend.
April 22, 2016
Pugh signs pro contract
Doncaster Rovers have confirmed that youth team player Joe Pugh has signed a professional contract with the club, as he becomes the latest youth player to make it up to the senior ranks, following the likes of Harry Middleton and Mitchell Lund.
Manager Darren Ferguson has revealed that one further youth team player is set to sign up, but he refuses to reveal the identity of who that may be.
Speaking of the achievements of Joe Pugh, Ferguson said: "He’s done very well the boy. We’ve had plenty of time to look through all the young players. We felt Joe and his attitude was first and foremost outstanding. He works his socks off. There’s plenty of improvement in him, enough to give him a chance. It’s up to us to get that coaching in him to help him improve. He can get a goal. I’m delighted we’ve offered him a deal. Being local is important as well."
Joe is the son of former Rover Daral Pugh, and has signed a one year deal with the club. He joined Rovers as a first year scholar after leaving Hull City last February and has gone on to impress for both the Under-18s and Development XI.
Joe told DROS earlier this week: "It’s been a great week for me. Ever since I found out about the contract, then scoring two goals and now training with the senior pro’s, I’m really pleased and think I’ve done well."
April 22, 2016
Travel details to away game at Crewe
The Rovers' Supporters Club are running coaches to the away game at Crewe Alexandra, which is on Saturday, 30th April.
Coaches leave Retford at 10.15am, Harworth 10.20am, Bawtry 10.30am, Rossington 10.30am, Hare & Tortoise 10.35am, Doncaster Royal Infirmary 10.45am and the Keepmoat Stadium at 11.00am.
Fares for the trip are:
Members: Adults £14 - OAPs £13 - Under 16s £12
Non-members: Adults £16 - OAPs £15 - Under 16s £14
Places on the coaches can be booked after 6pm with Paul Mayfield (07961 727769) or Len South (01302 817347) by the Wednesday evening before the game.
April 20, 2016
Chesterfield 1 Rovers 1
A point gained, or two lost? Time will tell whether last night's result means that Rovers have too large a mountain to climb as they strive to escape from relegation.
But the unbeaten run is now two games - not massive, but a boost to the spirits after the horrendous sequence of matches without a win - and Rovers are still in with a chance, now five points away from safety with three games to play.
Tommy Rowe lifted those hopes early in the game as he struck to give Rovers the lead, although the home side hit back to level twelve minutes later.
Both sides were desperate to get points on the board - Chesterfield are probably now safe after reaching the 50 point mark, but it led for an entertaining game, although the decisive final touch in front of goal was lacking from both sides as numerous attacks collapsed with the final ball.
The Rovers midfield imposed themselves well on the game, with Andy Williams having a superb chance just before half time, but his header went into the side netting after meeting a cross in from Richard Chaplow.
Rovers had a goal disallowed in the second half, with Coppinger firing the ball home, but the flag went up for a foul by Rowe. Late chances for McSheffrey and Tyson went astray, and Rovers had to settle for a point.
April 20, 2016
Match highlights
Match highlights of last night's away game at Chesterfield are now being shown on the Sky Sports web site.
To watch them, please click on their logo to the left.
April 20, 2016
Ferguson - we need three wins
Boss Darren Ferguson thinks that Doncaster Rovers will have to win their final three games to stay up after dropping two points at Chesterfield.
He said after the game: "I felt we had to win our last five but we certainly have to win the last three to give us a chance. But that would give us a chance."
"I think if we win the last three I think we can stay up. I think we’ve got a chance, maybe not a good chance, but we’ve got a chance."
"If we get to 51 points, we obviously have to depend on others dropping points but that has been the case for a while now."
He was pleased with the performance in last night's game, but that Rovers need to capitalise on the chances that come their way, adding: "The performances are good, the players are playing good football but we have to get the wins and I think tonight was a real lost opportunity to really put the pressure on the teams above us. Fortunately they have got beat and we’ll just take it a game at a time. I’ve said it to the players that we have to focus on one thing - Coventry on Saturday. Focus on getting a similar performance and when we get the chances, take them."
April 20, 2016
Butler in Team of the Week
Rovers defender Andy Butler was named in the Football League's "Team of the Week" for his performance in Saturday's home win over Wigan Athletic.
Butler struck twice with headers to send Rovers on the way to victory.
The full "Team of the Week" is: Alex Revell (MK Dons), Alex Baptiste (Sheffield United), Andy Butler (Doncaster Rovers), Paul Robinson (Wimbledon), George Boyd (Burnley), Jon Taylor (Peterborough United), Josh Windass (Accrington Stanley), Luke Williams (Scunthorpe United), Jordan Rhodes (Middlesbrough), Joe Pigott (Luton Town), Tomer Hemed (Brighton)
Manager - Adam Murray (Mansfield Town)
April 20, 2016
Goals review
In our review of former Doncaster Rovers players scoring goals, we begin in League One, where Billy Sharp scored again for Sheffield United in their 2-1 away win at Shrewsbury Town to see the Blades close to four points away from the play-offs.
Also in League One, Curtis Main, on loan from Rovers until the end of the season, struck again with the only goal of the game to give Oldham Athletic victory at Southend. Oldham are now six points above the bottom four and are looking safe from relegation.
Finally, in League Two, Jordan Bowery scored for Oxford United in their 1-1 draw at Newport County. Newport need just one point from their final three games to ensure they survive in the Football League, with York City having to win all of their final three to have a chance of avoiding relegation to the Conference. Dagenham & Redbridge are already relegated.
April 20, 2016
Ticket offer for Coventry game
Doncaster Rovers are running a ticket offer for Saturday's home game against Coventry City, with season ticket holders able to exchange any unused ticket stubs from their season ticket book for a match ticket for the Coventry fixture. Up to a maximum of three vouchers from your season ticket book may be used in this offer.
After Saturday's game, Rovers are away at already relegated Crewe Alexandra, before hosting promotion hopefuls Burton Albion at the Keepmoat Stadium on the last day of the season.
Rovers are also running a reduced ticket offer for away fans, with a maximum of £20 per ticket, which Rovers supporters also enjoyed at the Ricoh Arena earlier in the season. Those prices will also apply to supporters buying tickets in the South Stand (only), with the following applying:
Adults £20 - Senior Citizens £17 - Young adults (17-21) £13 - Juniors (12-16) £8 - Juniors (U12) £5. These prices apply to advance purchases ONLY. Tickets bought on the day of the game will be sold at the original price.
April 20, 2016
McCarthy wants Chester job
Former Rovers player Jon McCarthy has been named as caretaker manager of Chester FC after the departure of Steve Burr earlier this month. He was Burr's assistant, but has been handed the reins until the club decide on a full time replacement.
But one this is clear - McCarthy wants the job on a full-time basis, and told the Chester Chronicle last week: "Yes I do want it after this week," said McCarthy, who has been with the club since January 2014 and doubles as chief executive of the Chester FC Community Trust.
"I almost went with the cliché that this is my audition but I do think there needs to be a performance on Saturday that wins the game and then people need to go 'that's different'. There needs to be a win and a performance where people can see a change within a week. I think it's quite difficult for me in terms of how people perceive me as Steve's number two but I think if people ask enough questions around the club and talk to enough people - because I'm here a lot in terms of my two roles - then those people really understand me and my CV in terms of coaching and playing and what I've done. I've won the Conference North twice; played in the Conference for three years; I've been here two-and-half-years; I've got the UEFA A Licence and 500 appearances so it is time for me."
April 19, 2016
Chesterfield v Rovers
Can Doncaster Rovers win two games in a row? The chances of that, and of 'the great escape' have improved following Saturday's win over leaders Wigan Athletic, with a decent performance added to by some key decisions going in Rovers' way for the first time in ages.
Darren Ferguson is set to select from the same squad for this evening's game, although Cedric Evina may be hoping for a recall to the starting eleven after replacing Aaron Taylor-Sinclair at half time on Saturday. Riccardo Calder could be recalled after missing Saturday's game with a tight hamstring.
Rovers will continue to be without the injured Paul Keegan and Dany N'Guessan.
Chesterfield will welcome back Jamal Campbell-Ryce, who was suspended for Saturday's defeat to Sheffield United, but they will still be without Liam O'Neill, who continues to be absent with an ankle injury. Apart from that, the Chesterfield camp are reporting no new injuries after the weekend's game. Boss Danny Wilson has hinted that there may be up to three changes from the weekend as he continues to search for the points that will secure Chesterfield League One football for next season. The likes of Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, Dion Donohue, Rai Simons and Jordan Slew are reported to be under consideration for this evening's game.
April 19, 2016
The managers look forward
Doncaster Rovers boss Darren Ferguson is hoping that the boost given to the players' confidence with Saturday's win over leaders Wigan Athletic will pay dividends this evening for the short trip to Chesterfield.
He told DROS: "You’d like to think the Wigan win has given everyone the belief that we can still get out of the trouble we are in. The performance itself was a very good one and we fully deserved the win. I feel the last three performances have been pretty good and we probably should have got more points."
"The message before Wigan was that if we could beat them we can beat anyone. The key element to that though is getting the consistency in the performance and I’m trying to tell the players not to worry so much about the results, but about getting the performance and you hope that will end up getting you the results."
"Everyone in the squad is going to be crucial if we are go get over the line, it is still going to be a hard task though and I still think we are going to win our last four games. We just need to keep going and hope one or two in-front of us get a bit nervous."
Chesterfield boss Danny Wilson is expecting a full blooded local derby atmosphere for tonight's game, commenting: "I’m expecting a rip roaring game, a proper derby game with everything to play for. If we can win on Tuesday then it goes a long way towards helping us survive."
"It’s a massive game for both of us. Should we win it, it makes it that bit more difficult for Doncaster to catch us, if they win they can feel themselves within touching distance. I’m hoping we’ve got some big game players out there. These are games to relish, they’re great games to play in."
Of Rovers, Wilson commented: "I think they’ve been very unfortunate in recent weeks, we’ve seen quite a few games and they’ve had a bit of bad luck, conceded a late goal at some stage. They’re not the worst team in the league by any stretch of the imagination. When we come up against them I expect it to be a very tough game for us, I’m hoping we’ll be as committed as I’m expecting them to be."
April 19, 2016
Tonight's match officials
The match officials appointed by the Football League for this evening's away game at Chesterfield are:
Referee: Jeremy Simpson
Assistant referees: David Richardson and Joe Hull
Fourth official: Nick Hopton
April 19, 2016
Rovers win award
Doncaster Rovers have been named as the League One winners of the Nickelodeon Family Club of the Year at Sunday's awards ceremony in Manchester. Oxford United won the League Two award, and Fulham won the overall Family Club of the Year award.
Rovers' Andy Butler, short listed for the PFA Player in the Community Award was unlucky, with former Rovers defender George Friend emerging victorious. George was also named in the Football Manager "Team of the Season".
April 19, 2016
Voting results v Wigan Athletic
Scoring goals usually does wonders for your chances of winning the "Man of the Match" by the match sponsors, and that effect filtered through to the votes we received, with Andy Butler getting a shade over half of all the votes cast. Those players receiving the most votes were:
1 Andy Butler (51.62%)
2 Luke McCullough (16.12%)
3= Tommy Rowe, Gary McSheffrey (9.68% each)
Thank you to everyone who took the time to vote, the next poll will open after this evening's away game at Chesterfield.
April 17, 2016
Rovers 3 Wigan Athletic
This has been a long, long time in coming. Three and a half months, if we're counting, and 18 games. Rovers turned on a barn-storming second half performance yesterday afternoon to stun league leaders Wigan Athletic to mean their dreams of avoiding relegation remain alive.
But let's not get too carried away - Rovers are still six points away from a position of safety with only four games to play. Yes, it's 'do-able', but it's still a tall order. However, the likely confidence boost from yesterdays' win could be huge - and that could see Rovers travel to Chesterfield on Tuesday believing that they can win. Now that would make things interesting!
Rovers did play well - they did well in the first half although they failed to be clinical in front of goal and were punished when Will Grigg headed home at the far post after a cross in from Wildschut.
And then came the second half, with Rovers determined not to lie down and surrender - and two headers from corners by Andy Butler saw Rovers come from a goal behind to take the lead. The points were sealed in the last few minutes when Wigan's David Perkins was sent off for being the last man when bringing down Gary McSheffrey in the penalty area. Andy Williams stepped up to smash the resulting spot kick down the centre of the goal.
Wigan will have to wait just a little longer before being crowned champions - but Rovers will at least have the satisfaction of being the cause of those delays. And you never know, those three points could just prove to be the difference between survival and relegation.....
April 17, 2016
What the managers said
A very relieved Darren Ferguson faced the press after yesterday's home game against Wigan Athletic, which allowed him to reflect on a victory for the first time in over three months.
Speaking to BBC Radio Sheffield after the game, he said: "It’s been a long time coming but we’ve been playing well without reward recently and I thought we thoroughly deserved the three points. We were unfortunate to be behind at the interval because I thought we were the better team throughout. They scored against the run of play and it came from someone we knew would be a threat in Wildschut on the counterattack. I couldn't let it affect the players and I couldn't let it affect what I said to them at half time. It was a case of don't start running all over the place because they will pick you off. They're a very good team. The equaliser really got us going but we dropped a bit too deep defensively after going in front before we sewed the game up."
"We had to deal with them getting a lot more possession, we dropped too deep I felt but Gary used his experience to get the penalty."
"It’s a good day for us but we need four more performances like this to get out of the bottom four. This is the level we have to achieve for those games and if we do that we can win them all. We showed as a team that we have still got the fight in us and we have to keep that going to the very end."
Wigan boss paid tribute to Rovers after the game, admitting that they deserved the win, but bemoaned a flat performance from his promotion-chasing team.
He told BBC Radio Manchester after the match: "It was a poor performance at a time when we didn't need it. We got what we deserved, Doncaster were the better team for the whole 90 minutes."
"We were still in the game at 2-1, but that red card all but ended the game. We didn't get going at all today. Overall it was a flat display from most of my players."
But Caldwell still has his eyes on the title, which sees the proverbial six-pointer against second place Burton Albion at the Pirelli Stadium on Tuesday, with just three points between the two clubs.
He added: "It's in our hands. We're in a fantastic position, there's four games to go and we're well capable of winning them all. This is a bad day that hopefully gives us a wake up call."
April 17, 2016
Match highlights
Sky Sports are showing some match highlights of yesterday's Rovers v Wigan game on their web site.
If you would like to watch them, please click on their logo to the left.
At least it may be a more enjoyable experience for you than it has been for some time!
April 17, 2016
Goals review
This week's review of former Doncaster Rovers players scoring goals begins in the Championship, where Matt Kilgallon scored. Unfortunately for him, it was a goal into his own net, and saw his present club, Blackburn Rovers, go down to a 2-0 home defeat against Huddersfield Town.
Going down into League One, Billy Sharp capped off a good afternoon for Sheffield United by scoring their final goal in a 3-0 away win at Chesterfield. The win keeps the Blades dreams of reaching the play-offs alive (they are still six points adrift), while Chesterfield are not totally safe from relegation, although they do have a four point cushion on the bottom four.
A division further down, Michael Woods scored Hartlepool's second goal in a 2-1 home win over York City. While not mathematically doomed, York are set to be relegated from the Football League unless they win all of their remaining games and Newport County lose all theirs.
In the National League North, Darren Byfield scored a 91st minute consolation goal for Solihull Moors, in their 2-1 home defeat against Hednesford Town.
Finally in the Evo-Stik League Division One (North), ex-youth teamer Rob O'Brien scored Farsley Celtic's final goal in a 3-3 draw at Mossley.
April 17, 2016
It's awards night
This evening marks the Football League Awards 2016 ceremony, which is to be held in Manchester.
Doncaster Rovers have hopes for three awards - the "Nickleodeon Family Club of the Year", the "PFA Player in the Community" award (Andy Butler), and the "Mitre Goal of the Year" (Andy Williams).
Also in with a chance of the Championship Player of the Year is former Rovers loan striker Ross McCormack.
April 16, 2016
Rovers v Wigan Athletic
On-loan goalkeeper Remi Matthews will be fit for this afternoon's home game against league leaders Wigan Athletic, despite being forced off during last week's game against Bury with blurred vision after being hit full in the face by a fierce shot.
Rovers will give Riccardo Calder a late fitness test; he missed last week's game with a hamstring injury, but Paul Keegan and Dany N'Guessan will still be missing.
Returning to the side will be Craig Alcock, who served a one-match ban last weekend.
Wigan Athletic could include former Rover Reece Wabara in their side. He has been suffering from a hamstring injury, but was a substitute in their last game and is pushing for a start today. Michael Jacobs is also hoping to make the first eleven after recovering from a calf injury. Skipper Craig Morgan is also hoping to be fit to play. He has returned to full training late this week and is hoping to return after a two-match absence with a hamstring strain.
Definitely missing for Wigan today are Sanmi Odelusi (foot) and Reece James (ankle).
Wigan are defending a 20 match unbeaten run - Rovers haven't won for 17 games - what price a Rovers victory with statistics like that? You never know, it just could be the overwhelming odds that find that elusive victory!
April 16, 2016
Survival bid is not yet over - Fergie
Rovers boss Darren Ferguson is insisting that Doncaster Rovers' bid to avoid relegation is not yet over - despite needing to win virtually all their games to avoid the drop. With eight points just to catch up with the next team in the table and only five games to play, that's a big challenge, but Ferguson will keep believing that it is possible.
He told the Doncaster Free Press this week: "Games like the one we’ve got on Saturday can actually be the one that changes it all around. We’ve not won in 16 [league] games and we could win the last five and it might not be enough. But what we’ve got to do is focus on the one in front of us."
"In a way, playing against the team top of the league - that is the best team in the league, there’s no question about that - the job is a lot simpler for me in terms of asking the players to have the belief for the rest of the season. A lot of people will think we’re down and out and, looking at the league table, maybe quite rightly. But I can’t think like that."
"I’m only thinking about the best case scenario and that would be winning the game on Saturday and the confidence and the belief that would give the players - and then you’ve got a game straight after it, which would be a good thing. And then all of a sudden you just never know, but we’ve just got to be focused on beating a very good team on Saturday."
April 16, 2016
Leaders set to bring large following
Wigan Athletic are set to bring a large supporting crowd with them for this afternoon's game at the Keepmoat Stadium, with their initial allocation of 1,533 already sold out and they have requested a further 500. Tickets will also be available on the day, subject to availability.
April 16, 2016
Caldwell warns of complacency
Wigan Athletic boss Gary Caldwell has warned his players that they face a tough game this afternoon, despite the league positions suggesting the outcome is a foregone conclusion.
He warned: "Every game is very important and every team is fighting for something. Doncaster are down near the bottom and fighting for their lives. 'I've said it a few times in recent weeks that teams are coming up against us for their biggest games of the season, but what they don't realise is that it's our biggest too, our next game is always our biggest."
"Saturday falls into that category. We have so much to gain and we have massive motivation to go out and win. We have to show that motivation against a Doncaster team who have will be desperate to beat us for their own cause."
"'We have created our own pressure by the standards we set so there's an internal pressure from the group, with the demands we put on the players and the demands the players put on each other, but there's no pressure in terms of league position or what's at stake."
"'We're progressing in the right direction every match we play. We knew it was going to be a slow start, we knew we had to rebuild the football club and it's going in the right direction, but we don't stop now, we've got to keep improving, be better every day in training and take that into games. 'That's been our challenge all season and it's still our challenge for the next five games."
April 16, 2016
Today's match officials
The match officials appointed by the Football League for this afternoon's game against Wigan Athletic at the Keepmoat Stadium are:
Referee: Kevin Johnson
Assistant referees: Danny Markham and Richard Wild
Fourth official: Steven Meredith