December 20, 2014
Swindon Town v Rovers
Doncaster Rovers will be hoping to get back into the winning habit this afternoon when they travel to Swindon Town. They should be confident in doing so, with Rovers having a good away record, having lost only three of their ten away league fixtures so far - and won six of their last nine away games in all.
Rovers have no new injury concerns, but will check on midfielder Dean Furman, who has been missing lately with a groin injury. He has trained this week and could be added to the squad today. Striker Nathan Tyson will again be absent in the hope that the extra time will allow him to be available over the Christmas and New Year period.
Rob Jones is still absent after suffering a setback in his recovery from a knee injury, so Rovers will have the same squad available as played last week, with the likes of Cedric Evina, Harry Forrester, Liam Wakefield and Marc de Val Fernandez available if Paul Dickov wishes to change things.
Swindon Town are waiting for a fitness test on on-loan left winger Harry Toffolo, who is rated 'touch and go' for today's game. George Barker is available after recovering from a hamstring injury, while Jack Barthram is fit to play despite having sprained his wrist.
December 20, 2014
Coppinger mystified by home form
Rovers midfielder James Coppinger has admitted that he has never known as frustrating a situation as the poor home form that Rovers are enduring at the moment.
He told the Doncaster Free Press: "I don’t think I’ve ever come across something like this since I’ve been here. There were plenty of chances on Saturday but it just didn’t go our way. Reece Wabara hit the bar, I had a great chance and there were at least a couple more. It’s just one of those things. We’re creating chances and getting into good areas but at home it seems like we can’t put them away."
"It’s very frustrating. We’re very aware of the record and we’re desperately trying to put things right."
He has appealed for the fans to get behind the team as they try to end their poor home results sequence, saying that backing could be the crucial difference.
He added: "I think sometimes the atmosphere does influence things. For us, it’s about staying positive and trying to end this run. I’m sure in the next few games we will. We need everyone behind us because we’re definitely trying every day to put it right. It’s not nice for the fans to pay to come here and have to go away with a defeat. It’s difficult with the fans getting frustrated because we need them to get behind us. Hopefully in the next home game we can give them something to shout about.”
December 20, 2014
Dean wins award
Rovers midfielder has been named the top Jewish Sportsperson in the UK at the Maccabi GB Sports Awards for 2014.
Furman retained the award for the second successive year, and with his elevation to the captaincy of the South Africa side recently, it was perhaps inevitable that he would win again. He has played in every single minute of the African Nations Cup qualifying matches, which enabled him to hold off competition from Southend United midfielder Jack Payne, as well as long distance runner, Richard Goodman, who finished second and third respectively.
December 20, 2014
Kyle grateful for second chance
Rovers midfielder Kyle Bennett has admitted that he thought his time at the club was over after he failed to get in the first team last season and spent much of the campaign out on loan.
However, he has made the most of the opportunities triggered by the club's relegation in the summer, and has been in impressive form so far this season.
He told the Doncaster Free Press last week: "I didn’t play much last season and I obviously thought that was it for me here. Certain players were brought into the club, like Mark Duffy and Harry Forrester, and I knew they were going to play before me."
"We got relegated and circumstances changed. When the takeover didn’t happen again it left us with limited numbers so I thought I’ve got a chance to play. I’ve done my best to take that chance."
Boss Paul Dickov has praised the maturity shown by Kyle this season, which has been recognised by the player, who added: "I’m more focused on the role I’ve got to play in the team. I’ve been criticised in the past for not working hard enough, and I’ve tried to build that into my game. Everyone can see I’m running round a little bit more. I’ve realised that’s what people want me to do, so I’ve just got to do it.”
December 19, 2014
Rovers Youth 3 Norwich City 1
Doncaster Rovers inflicted an unexpected defeat on previous winners of the FA Youth Cup, Norwich City, last night at the Keepmoat Stadium, although they needed extra time to clinch victory. Well - it was unexpected as far as Norwich City were concerned, as they had spoken of making progress into the latter stages of the competition after winning the FA Youth Cup a couple of years ago.
Rovers went through thanks to a hat-trick by highly fancied striker Jack McKay. McKay put Rovers in front with a first half penalty, which looked to be enough for virtually all of the rest of the game, although City predictably piled on the pressure in the second half, with Paul McKay having to clear the ball off the line, and the Rovers goal led a charmed life, with Todd Cantwell missing a clear opportunity, and Ben Burgess headed the ball against the cross bar.
When it looked as though Rovers would go through to the fourth round, they were hit with the stunning blow of an 89th minute equaliser, as Efete headed home at the back post.
To many teams, such a late blow would have deflated the side in extra time, but Rovers stepped up a gear, with Jack McKay striking in each half of the extra periods to put Rovers through, and they will now travel to play Swansea City in the fourth round in the New Year.
Doncaster Rovers: McLaren, Greasley, Carberry, Head, P. McKay, M’Buti, Davies, J. McKay, Mandeville, Gordon (McCormick, 78), Linley
Substitutes: McCormick (for Gordon, 78), Parkin, Iveson, Wanless, Barker.
Norwich City: Oxborough, Efete, Ramsay, Grant, Fox, Burgess, Eaton-Collins (Cole, 84), Byrne-Hewitt, Ashley-Seal, Cantwell, Lewis (Couzens, 67).
Substitutes: Couzens (for Lewis, 67), Cole (for Eaton-Collins, 84), Black, Beauchamp, Syme
Goal scorers: Doncaster Rovers: Jack McKay (pen 38, 102, 113)
Norwich City: Michee Efete (89)
December 19, 2014
Dickov hopes to extend Butler's stay
Doncaster Rovers boss Paul Dickov has confirmed that he has opened talks with Sheffield United to extend the stay of defender Andy Butler past the first week in January, when his current deal is due to expire.
Butler has been highly influential in the improvement of Rovers' defensive record over the last month, and with the continuing absence of skipper Rob Jones, Dickov is keen to tie Butler down to another month on loan - although a free transfer is not totally out of the question, with Butler clearly not featuring in Blades boss Nigel Clough's plans at the moment.
Dickov told the Doncaster Star: "I spoke with Nigel Clough last week and Gavin [Baldwin] has been speaking to Sheffield United to try and see if there is something we can do with Andy Butler in January."
The Rovers boss also confirmed that he has opened talks with Reece Wabara Northern Ireland international Luke McCullough about extending their current contracts, with McCullough's deal only lasting until the end of the season, and Wabara's is due to run out in the next few weeks.
He is clearly keen not to go into the summer with as much uncertainty surrounding the future of key players as has happened over the last couple of seasons, and commented: "We’re speaking to Luke and Reece about extending their contracts as well. That is something that’s ongoing at the minute. Come January we’ll reassess what injuries we have, and where the squad is, and we’ll take it from there. We’ll sit down with all the players in January - we’ve got a list - and without getting too ahead of ourselves we want to start thinking about next season. We want to try and make sure we plan early this year."
December 19, 2014
Jones setback in recovery
Rovers defender Rob Jones has suffered another injury setback after breaking down in training last week.
Jones had been making good progress after knee surgery, and had been hoping to play in the Development XI game against Gateshead recently, but opted out of that game, with Paul Dickov commenting: "He wanted to play in the Under 21 game [against Gateshead] but we both came to the mature decision it was probably right for him to miss it. He’s been training, and training well, but every now and then it flares up and gets a bit sore. We’ll nurse him through this."
Jones has missed much of the last season and a half, firstly with a neck problem, and then suffering a knee injury only a few games after returning earlier this season.
Also on the treatment table this week is fellow defender Jamie McCombe, who also has "tweaked his knee" in training.
December 19, 2014
Crosby out at Reading
Former Doncaster Rovers defender Andy Crosby is looking for a new job this week after leaving Championship side Reading. The headlines will have shown that boss Nigel Adkins had been sacked, but it also has been reported that his assistant manager, Andy Crosby, and coach Dean Wilkins have also left the club.
Adkins, who had been tipped for the hot-seat at Rovers a few seasons ago, was released by Reading after being thrashed 6-1 by Birmingham, with the club confirming: "Following this weekend's 6-1 defeat at Birmingham, the board feel that a change in manager is necessary."
Just a day before leaving the club, Adkins had used Twitter to say: "Good morning. Yes bad result on Sat. Read your messages reflecting over weekend. Embracing challenge to turn it around. We can do it together."
December 17, 2014
Development game off
Alfreton Town announced last night that the Development XI game between Derby County and Doncaster Rovers had been postponed, presumably due to a waterlogged pitch.
Derby County are playing their Development XI games at Alfreton Town's ground this season, and this is the second time that the game against Doncaster Rovers has been called off.
A new date for the fixture will be announced in due course.
December 17, 2014
Gillett's goal sets up dream cup tie
Yeovil Town won their FA Cup Second Round replay at home to Accrington Stanley last night to set up a dream Third Round tie against Premier League giants Manchester United, a game which should earn the Glovers somewhere in the region of £500,000.
Yeovil won the game 2-0, with ex-Rovers midfielder opening the scoring in the 84th minute, with Accrington's resistance again succumbing in the 88th minute.
Grimsby Town were also in action, although their were competing in the FA Trophy. They eased past ten man Nuneaton 2-0, despite traffic delays meaning they did not turn up at Nuneaton's ground until just before the kick-off. One of their goals came from ex-Rover Jon-Paul Pittman, and the win puts them into the Second Round of the competition.
December 17, 2014
Rovers legends to play fund raising game
A number of Doncaster Rovers legends will play in a fund raising game this weekend to commemorate the lives of five Doncaster teenagers who died in a horrific car crash at Conisborough recently.
The game will take place at Armthorpe Welfare's ground on Sunday, 21st December, with proceedings taking place from midday.
Monday from the event will go towards a memorial for the five youngsters, and has been organised by Armthorpe and Wheatley Academy's coach, Hugh Rankine, who said he wanted to do "something positive" to remember their lives.
He told the Doncaster Free Press: "I think everyone should try and show support and remember them in a nice way. What’s happened has really affected me, and pretty much everyone on my team. I’m hoping to raise enough money to put a memorial marble bench on Town Fields and hopefully at Danum Academy for them."
Those agreeing to take part include Rovers legends Ian Snodin, Glynn Snodin, Mark Rankine and Colin Douglas. Also set to play are Grimsby Town striker Darren Mansaram, and one of the victim's brothers, Alex Cairns, who plays for Leeds United.
Tickets will cost £5 for adults and £3 for children, and there will be a free buffet at the Wheatsheaf after the game.
For tickets or for more information, please contact Hugh on 07834 738400.
December 17, 2014
Theo praises Goater
Rovers striker Theo Robinson has praised the influence that coach Shaun Goater has made since he began at Doncaster Rovers this season. Goater has been working on day a week at the club as he tries to get a coaching job in England, and has been coaching the club's strikers as a favour to former team mate Paul Dickov.
Theo reckons that he, and his fellow strikers, have already benefited from the advice given, telling the Doncaster Star: "He’s made a big difference. He’s been telling us little tips of the trade. I’m not going to say what they are because we want to keep them to ourselves. Even the gaffer has been joining in with the finishing sessions which has helped. It’s great that he’s brought Goats in. He’s done a lot in the game. Both the manager and Shaun Goater are so well respected."
December 17, 2014
Furman injury absence
Rovers midfielder Dean Furman has been suffering from a groin strain that he picked up while playing for South Africa against Nigeria recently, which has limited the amount that he has been able to contribute to the Rovers side since then. Furman has played just 16 minutes since then, but he is confident of being fit for the Christmas matches, and he revealed: "I’m currently taking some time off playing due to a groin strain that I picked up against Nigeria that has been causing me problems or a couple of weeks. Hopefully I’ll be back in action as soon as possible though."
South Africa name their preliminary squad for AFCON 2015 tomorrow, with Furman certain to be included after being named as his country's captain for the last two matches.
December 16, 2014
Peterborough ticket information
Tickets for the forthcoming away game at Peterborough United have been received at the Keepmoat Stadium's ticket office.
The game will be played on Sunday, 28th December with a 3pm kick-off.
Tickets are now on general sale at the following prices:
Adults £23 - Senior Citizens (60+) £14 - Young Adults (18-21) £14 - Juniors (U18) £10
Disabled supporters pay the relevant price, but their carer will be admitted free of charge.
Tickets can be brought at Peterborough on match day, but all ticket category prices will rise by £3.
December 16, 2014
Late night shopping - and there's a match on!
Doncaster Rovers have announced that their club shop will be opening later than usual this Thursday to allow supporters to do some Christmas shopping. There's no word on exactly HOW late they will be opening, but first team squad players will be in attendance from 6pm.
The same evening, the youth team are in action at the Keepmoat Stadium when they face Norwich City in the third round of the FA Youth Cup, with the winners facing either Watford or Swansea City in the next round.
Ticket prices for the game are £3 for adults and £1 for concessions. The game kicks off at 7pm.
There will be free car parking for the evening. Wow.
December 16, 2014
Keegan praises Dickov
Midfielder Paul Keegan has praised boss Paul Dickov for the job that he has done following a second successive summer of turmoil at the club caused by an aborted takeover of the club.
Keegan insists that he and the squad are looking forward with hope, but praises Dickov for the work done under difficult circumstances.
Speaking to the Doncaster Free Press last week, he said: "With everything that went on over the summer. and the takeover, the manager’s had a very hard job to do. A lot of players like Copps and Richie [Wellens] were hanging on and we didn’t really know who was coming or going. Eventually we got a team together and obviously there was a lot of relief that people had signed contracts. But it was so late in the day as well. All of a sudden there was a basis of a team there but there was still work to be done to get us playing together."
"So it’s been a very difficult job for the manager and I think he’s done great with how he’s managed to get people in. Obviously since then we’ve had to get everyone singing from the same hymn sheet. Other teams went through pre-season with six or seven weeks of playing together. We had pre-season with a completely different team, and there were games which lads couldn’t play in because they didn’t know if there’d be a contract for them. It was a bit messy but you’ve got to park that now."
"I don’t think anyone is looking back at that. We’ve got to move on and start winning games. Everything that has happened is in the past now. We’ve got to look forward now."
December 16, 2014
Bright future for Whitehouse
Young midfielder Billy Whitehouse has a bright future in the game after impressing on his first team debut last Tuesday against Notts County.
The result may have been disappointing for players and fans alike, but his performance certainly caught they eye of boss Paul Dickov, who told the Yorkshire Post: "I thought Billy did really well and he is a player I have liked since I first came in last year and he was in the youth team. He plays with a lot of energy, works his socks off and is a fantastic kid off the pitch too."
"I am sure with the ability he has got as well that the kid has got a really good chance. It is always a good sign for me when senior professionals take a younger kid under their belt because they do not tend to if they think they are bad players."
December 16, 2014
Voting results v Gillingham
It is often the case that, after a disappointing performance or result, voting patterns are distinctly different to when the team wins - and that was the case again this week, following the home game against Gillingham. We received nominations for seven different players, with a relatively even distribution of votes among several of those players. However, the players who ended up ahead of the rest were:
1 Richie Wellens (36.84%)
2 Kyle Bennett (26.32%)
3 Curtis Main (10.53%)
Thank you to everyone who took the time to vote - the next poll will open following Saturday's away game at Swindon Town.
December 15, 2014
More goals
We've noticed a few more former Rovers players that scored goals over the weekend, and we begin in the Indian Super League, where Kerala Blasters upset the form book in the end of season play-offs by defeating league champions Chennaiyin FC 3-0 in the first leg of the semi-final tie. Two goals in the first half hour, the second of which was scored by ex-Rovers striker Iain Hume, effectively put the game out of reach of Chennaiyin, with their third goal coming right at the end of the 90 minutes.
Back in England, the transformation of the fortunes of Birmingham City continued this weekend with the 6-1 hammering of Reading at St Andrews. Among those taking part in the goal-fest was former Rovers winger David Cotterill, who scored Birmingham's last goal in the 60th minute. The win moves City well out of the relegation mire and comfortably into a midtable position.
Finally, the on-loan Alex Peterson continued his fine form playing for Scarborough Athletic, scoring with an "unstoppable 20 yard shot" to put his side ahead in the second minute of their Evo-Stik League North game at Lancaster City. Scarborough won the game 2-1 to move into fifth place.
December 15, 2014
Penney dismisses talk of Mansfield move
Ex-Rovers boss Dave Penney has dismissed any talk of him moving back into football management, insisting that he is happy as Phil Brown's assistant at League Two promotion candidates Southend United.
There had been talk that he was in line to become the new Mansfield Town manager, but Dave insists that talk was purely because he knew Mansfield owner (John Radford) from his time at Rovers, with Radford being chairman of One Call Insurance, who were Rovers' shirt sponsors at the time.
Penney told the Southend Echo: "There was never any truth linking me to Mansfield and I’m really enjoying what I doing with Southend so I certainly wouldn’t be looking to leave. I think the rumours just sprung up because I know the Mansfield owner (John Radford) very well indeed because he was a director at Doncaster when I was a manager there. He’s someone I’ve stayed in touch with, would meet for coffee and go to games with while I was out of work. But I certainly never spoke to him about the Mansfield job because I want to stay here and help us enjoy a successful end to the season with promotion."
Of the prospects of him becoming a manager any time soon, he added: "I think I realise now that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Sure there’s the odd day when I miss being a manager but not when you see someone like Paul Murray losing his job at Hartlepool after only six weeks of being in charge. We have a good group of players who I enjoy working with and I get on well with the staff so I’m very happy at Southend, especially as we’ve been quite successful in the 18 months I’ve been here."
December 15, 2014
Rovers Belles get new manager
Doncaster Rovers Belles have announced that they have appointed Glen Harris as their new manager, following the resignation of Gordon Staniforth at the end of last season.
Harris was formerly the manager of Lincoln Ladies, leaving the club in 2012 to become a technical director at Lincoln City's Centre of Excellence.
He told the Doncaster Free Press: "I’m really honoured to be asked to be the new Doncaster Rovers Belles head coach. It’s a well established women’s club with a great history in the game and it’s an honour to be a part of the Belles."
"I’m excited to be back involved in the FAWSL after a couple of years out. I’m really looking forward to the start of the season and bringing the success to the Belles that they greatly deserve."
Belles director of football Julie Chipchase said: “Glen has experience at the top level of the women’s game, knows many of our players and brings an impressive footballing philosophy to the Belles. I am particularly excited to be working with Glen on the next stages of developing our younger players and academy structure.”
December 15, 2014
Rovers get new equipment for on-line commentaries
After enduring criticism over the reliability of their "Rovers Player" service in providing match commentaries for subscribers, Doncaster Rovers have announced that they have invested in some new equipment which they hope will make those problems a thing of the past.
With the Rovers commentaries being unavailable on numerous occasions in recent seasons, when the opposition team's service was going out to their supporters, the problem certainly needed fixing.
New Rovers "Communications and Marketing Manger", Ryan Murrant said: "We are aware that the service hasn't been up to the expectations of our subscribers or even to those of the club. That is naturally disappointing. As a result, and to improve the service that we offer, we have now sourced and invested in bespoke equipment which should take our broadcasts to a desired, and significantly improved level."
The new equipment was used for the first time on Saturday in the Gillingham match - Rovers are now recommending Google Chrome as the best web browser to get a reliable coverage of their Player service.
December 14, 2014
Rovers 1 Gillingham 2
Doncaster Rovers' horrendous home form continued yesterday when they went down to a disappointing 2-1 defeat at the hands of Gillingham, who themselves registered their first away win since March, but extended their undefeated run to six games. Their win lifted them to within a point of Rovers, and also leaves Rovers just three points above the relegation places.
While Rovers still have a game in hand, that is only of a benefit if points are gained from that game, and at the moment, that's more likely to happen in away games.
Rovers had the better of the possession in the first half, with the visitors willing to defend, but that possession did not convert into goals, and Rovers were to ultimately pay dearly for those wasted opportunities. Gills goalkeeper (and ex-Rover) Stuart Nelson was kept busy in the first period, with Paul Keegan and James Coppinger denied, as was Kyle Bennett.
Rovers did appear to be applying pressure as the half hour mark arrived, although Curtis Main did seem to be an isolated figure up front. In fact, Gillingham came close to taking a lead against the run of play when Joe Martin fired just over from 20 yards after latching on to a loose ball. As it was, Rovers finished the first half dominant in possession, but the game was still goalless.
The visitors started well in the second half and were rewarded when Norris scored at the back post with the ball squared across the face of goal by Doughty. That setback saw Rovers' confidence dip, and it took a substitution, with Keegan replaced by Forrester, before Rovers started to get more possession. The frustration continued to mount for Rovers, with Butler heading wide from point blank range from a cross by Wabara, and Bennett's drive was taken at the second attempt by Nelson.
By now, Gillingham were willing to sit on their lead and play on the break, and did so successfully as Forrester needlessly gave the ball away on the half way line, with Norris firing home well from distance.
Even so, Rovers still had their chances, and Wabara headed against the bar from Bennett's corner. All their efforts seemed to be in vain, but in the fourth minute of added time, Robinson was brought down, enabling Main to score from the penalty spot. That was too little, too late, with the boos around the Keepmoat Stadium suggesting the fans are getting impatient at the lack of home success.
December 14, 2014
What the managers said
Paul Dickov was left to reflect on another home game that yielded no points for Rovers, despite the majority of possession enjoyed during the game, especially during the first half.
He obviously realises that there is a problem of not taking chances, whereas the opponents seem to make the most of the few chances that come their way.
That again was true yesterday, with Gillingham scoring with both of their decent chances, while Rovers were wasteful on numerous occasions. But how do you change that?
Dickov said after the game: "It's just not happening for us at home and it's very frustrating. We created at least 20 attempts at goal and hit the crossbar, but we needed a penalty to score, whereas they had two shots at goal and scored twice. It's frustrating to say the least for all concerned - the fans, the players and me included. But we just have to stay strong and keep believing because we can't play much better than that without winning."
He added: "In fairness to the players their heads haven't gone down and if they continue to work at it I'm sure our luck will change."
Gillingham boss Peter Taylor was very pleased to take the points, which relieves their relegation plight, successfully working out how to counteract the likely tactics and formation employed by Rovers.
He told their official web site: "We knew that Doncaster have some very good footballers, we were guessing that they would carry on with the same system and play the diamond shape and they played some very good stuff. The longer it went on, they began to get more nervous that they weren't breaking us down, and sometimes they’re a bit vulnerable to the counter attack because of that."
"I didn’t like us in the first half but in the second I thought we were really really good and based on that I thought we deserved an away win. The players have worked extremely hard for each other and that’s why we have deserved some results."
December 14, 2014
Goals review
This week's review of former Rovers players scoring goals begins in League One, where midfielder Simon Gillett capped a great day for Yeovil Town as they thumped Oldham Athletic 4-0 - at Boundary Park! Gillett's 28th minute strike put the Glovers 2-0 up, and while it still leaves them in the bottom four, they are now only two points away from safety.
In the Northern Counties East Premier Division, Chris Whincop scored twice for Worksop as they recorded an impressive 10-0 home win over bottom club Glasshoughton Welfare, who now have an unenviable goal difference of -72 from their 22 games. Whincop struck twice in the last 12 minutes to seal Worksop's victory, which puts them second in the table, four points behind leaders Tadcaster Albion.
Finally, Forest Green Rovers had a nasty shock in the FA Trophy, being held to a 2-2 draw at home to Didcot Town, despite being two goals up. Ex-Rovers loan striker Jon Parkin scored Forest Green's first goal, with Marcus Kelly's second seeming to seal matters for ten man Rovers, but two late goals earned the Railwaymen a replay.
December 14, 2014
Tommy eyes New Year return
Ex-Rovers left back Tommy Spurr is hoping to return to action early in the New Year, despite having another operation on his troublesome groin problem a just over a week ago.
Spurr suffered the initial injury while playing for Blackburn Rovers in the opening game of the season against Cardiff City, and all seemed to be well as he resumed training within six weeks of his initial operation and played 45 minutes of their under-21's game. However, he continued to suffer discomfort and had another operation a week last Monday, which is hoped to sort the problem 'once and for all'.
Boss Gary Bowyer told the Lancashire Telegraph: "Tommy’s got a smile back on his face and we’re delighted with that. He had a minor operation at the start of this week to clear everything out and help him so he shouldn’t be too long now. He was 90 per cent there, it was just that last stage he couldn’t get to, but the operation should help him get there. His fitness levels are high so he’s just got to recover from the operation now and then he should be back quite quickly. It’s always a little delicate to put an actual time on it but we’re talking weeks instead of a lot longer than that.”
December 13, 2014
Rovers v Gillingham
Paul Dickov is likely to make a number of changes to the starting eleven for this afternoon's home game against Gillingham. We expect that he will reverse most, if not all, of the changes made to the side for Tuesday's game against Notts County, with Richie Wellens and James Coppinger returning, along with Paul Keegan, Reece Wabara and Enda Stevens. The Rovers boss has suggested that a number of players have been playing with knocks or injuries lately, and took the opportunity of resting them on Tuesday in an effort to allow them to regain fitness for the busy Christmas and New Year spell of matches.
Young midfielder Billy Whitehouse will be unlucky to lose his place in the first eleven, but he can look forward to another place on the bench after impressing his manager on Tuesday evening.
Gillingham will be without defender Adam Chicksen, who has been recalled by Brighton & Hove Albion at the end of the minimum 28 days of his loan. Boss Peter Taylor is hoping that Joe Martin will recover from a groin injury to take Chicksen's place in the side.
Striker Danny Kedwell has had an injection to speed up his recovery from a knee injury, but he still missed their JPT game against Leyton Orient . Defender Aaron Morris will again be missing with a groin injury. On the plus side, the Gills signed winger Danny Galbraith on Thursday on a contract until the end of the season and could take a place on the bench today. Galbraith was a free agent after leaving Irish club Limerick, which he joined in January 2014, after previously playing for Hearts and Hibernian.
December 13, 2014
Dickov vows to improve home form
Boss Paul Dickov has vowed to improve Rovers' home form after the disappointment of losing on Tuesday, which brought to an end an undefeated run of five matches, all of which were away from home.
He has asked his players to go out "all guns blazing" this afternoon to end a Keepmoat goal drought, telling DROS yesterday: “Lack of goals have been an issue here at the Keepmoat, and there’s no getting away from it but Saturday is a game we really want to win. We know the form at home has to pick up and we need to bring our away form to the Keepmoat and start picking up points here.”
He added: "We need to play the football we know we can in front of our home fans. Our fans have been fantastic and I know they want a performance, as do we so on Saturday we’ll come out all guns blazing and give them something to celebrate."
He did hint that Nathan Tyson may be in with a chance of playing today, adding: "Nathan (Tyson) has an outside chance of featuring on Saturday. He’s done some work with the physio and the fitness coach and he wants to be involved but we’ll have to wait and see. He will see that Theo Robinson has come in and done a job so he’ll be chomping at the bit to get back in the side. He’s been fantastic for us since coming in so if he’s available its great news but if not, he’ll definitely be available next week.
December 13, 2014
Today's match officials
The match officials appointed by the Football League for this afternoon's home game against Gillingham are:
Referee: Graham Salisbury
Assistant referees: Alf Greenwood and Paul Thompson
Fourth official: Declan Ford
December 13, 2014
Johnstone - we want teams to fear Rovers
On-loan goalkeeper Sam Johnstone wants Rovers to be feared by their League One rivals after improving their results of late.
Speaking to the doncaster Free Press, he said: "You want to be a team that people are scared of. Everyone here is doing their best. We want to be in the top half of the table and hopefully we can push on over the next few weeks."
"The lads that have played in the Championship before want to get back there, and the younger lads who haven’t want a taste of it. Hopefully we can keep this good little run going and be in the mix come January."
He backed up his boss's concerns that Rovers haven't been scoring enough games, adding: "We’re creating lots of chances, we’ve just been unlucky we haven’t put them away. Sooner or later those chances will become goals. The lads are working hard in training, that’s for sure."
December 13, 2014
Goals review
Looking back over the last few days, former Rovers striker Iain Hume scored again for Indian Super League club Kerala Blasters, scoring his fourth goal of the season for his new club in their 1-0 victory over Pune City.
That match was the final game of the regular season, but the win enables the Blasters to qualify for the semi-finals of the play-offs.
On Wednesday, Jordan Ball scored Mickleover Sports' final goal in their 3-1 away win over Long Eaton United in the Derbyshire Senior Cup, Third Round.
December 12, 2014
FA ticket prices announced
Doncaster Rovers and Bristol City have announced the price of tickets for their forthcoming FA Cup Third Round tie at the Keepmoat Stadium.
The game is to be played on Saturday, 3rd January with a 3pm kick-off, with ticket prices as follows:
Adults £10 - Senior Citizens (60+) £5 - Young Adults (17-20) £5 - Juniors (16 & under) £1
Tickets will go on general sale from Monday (15th December), with season ticket holders having their seats reserved until Monday, 22nd December.
Disabled supporters will pay the appropriate ticket price, but their carer can be admitted free of charge.
December 12, 2014
Rovers appoint three as directors
Doncaster Rovers have announced that three shareholders have been formally appointed as directors of the club's holding company.
David Blunt, who was recently appointed as chairman, has been appointed as a director, as has Andrew Watson and club President Dick Watson.
The trio join Terry Bramall and Gavin Baldwin as registered directors of Patienceform Limited, who are the holding company of Doncaster Rovers.
All have been involved in the running of the club for some time, so the news merely formalises their place in the hierarchy of the club.
December 12, 2014
Stevens' loan extension confirmed
Doncaster Rovers have now confirmed that they have extended the loan of Aston Villa defender Enda Stevens for a further month. He will now stay at the club until 3rd January 2015.
Stevens has settled in well at Rovers and his fitness and form have improved as he has played more games. He recently confirmed that he fears his time at Aston Villa will come to an end in the summer, when his current contract with them expires, and he is keen to play regular first team football to help find a new club for next season.
Rovers boss Paul Dickov said after confirming the loan extension: "Enda has been fantastic for us lately. It's important we keep the back five consistent."
December 12, 2014
Furman frustrated at being on bench
Rovers midfielder Dean Furman may have been appointed as the captain of the South Africa national side, but he has been consigned to the substitutes' bench for recent Doncaster Rovers matches.
He has having to take a philosophical view of the situation, hoping that he can make the most of his chance when it comes.
He told the Doncaster Star: "I can’t lie, it’s very frustrating to be sitting on the bench. If the team is doing well I can’t really complain if the gaffer doesn’t change the team. I have to understand the situation, keep training hard and be ready when I get the opportunity."
Furman was unlucky to miss out in the midweek game against Notts County, which Paul Dickov confirms he would have started, but for suffering with a groin injury.
December 12, 2014
Voting results v Notts County
Winger Kyle Bennett was voted as the clear winner of the "Man of the Match" voting for Tuesday evening's home game in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy against Notts County.
He came well ahead of the other four players to receive votes - the two players who got the most votes were:
1 Kyle Bennett (62.50%)
2 Andy Butler (18.75%)
We thank everyone for casting a vote - the next poll will open following Saturday's home game against Gillingham.
December 11, 2014
Khumalo back in action
Former Doncaster Rovers loan defender Bongani Khumalo has made a long-awaited return to action after enduring an eight month absence as he recovered from a knee injury sustained while playing for South Africa.
Bongani played the while of Tottenham Hotspur's under-21 game last week against Manchester City, captaining the side - but he was just grateful to be back on the pitch.
Confirming that he had no ill effects after lasting the whole 90 minutes, he said after the game: "It just feels good to be out on the field."
Khumalo's injury in South Africa's game against Brazil cut short his loan spell at Doncaster Rovers last season, which was a big blow for Rovers as he had been in impressive form until then.
December 11, 2014
Greer signs new deal
Former Doncaster Rovers defender Gordon Greer has signed a one year extension to his contract with Brighton & Hove Albion. The club have confirmed that the Scotland international, now aged 33, will remain at the Amex Stadium until the summer of 2016.
Brighton boss Sami Hyypia told the BBC: "Gordon has proved to be a great captain for this club. He works hard and is a key player for us."
"Gordon and Bruno is an important player for us. He has great quality and experience and bring a great deal to the squad in terms of leadership on and off the pitch."
Greer was appointed as Brighton's captain shortly after joining from Swindon in 2010 and is now approaching the 200 game mark for Brighton.
December 11, 2014
Dickov praises Theo's patience
Rovers boss Paul Dickov has praised the attitude of striker Theo Robinson, who has put aside the frustration of being stuck on the substitutes' bench this season to play really well when he has been given time on the pitch.
Speaking last week, Dickov told the Yorkshire Post: “I have got to give credit to Theo. He has waited patiently for his chance and I thought he played really well. He threatened them behind and held the ball up really well and I was pleased with Theo and pleased he scored his goal as well. It is difficult when the other two (Tyson and Curtis Main) are doing well and you are itching to get back in. Sometimes, when you do get back in, you try too hard. But I thought he was excellent. The one thing Theo has done throughout his career – and let’s not forget, he is still only 25 – is score goals and I think his averages stat is one every three games."
December 11, 2014
Youth cup tie confirmed
Doncaster Rovers have confirmed details of their FA Youth Cup tie against Norwich City after progressing through to the third round after beating Morecambe and Peterborough United in the first two rounds.
The game will be played at the Keepmoat Stadium on Thursday, 18th December with a 7pm kick-off.
Ticket prices for the game are £3 for adults and £1 for all concessions, and are now on sale from the Keepmoat Stadium's ticket office.
December 11, 2014
LuaLua's injury blow
Ex-Rovers loan striker Kazenga LuaLua will be out of action for several weeks after picking up a knee injury in Brighton & Hove Albion's recent home defeat against Fulham.
The 23 year old was forced off in the first half of the game and was later found to have suffered ligament damage, which will keep him on the sidelines until at least the New Year.
Boss Sami Hyypia commented: "It's not an ideal situation. He has the ability to hurt teams. He has done well this season, so losing a player like him is not nice."
December 10, 2014
Rovers 0 Notts County
The poor run of results at the Keepmoat Stadium continued last night for Doncaster Rovers as they went down to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Notts County. Rovers may have won only once at home since March, but County have an incredible 100% success record at the Keepmoat, winning their third successive game - and they have yet to come to Doncaster in the league this season!
Paul Dickov elected to make several changes to the side, leaving out Enda Stevens completely, and including the likes of Richie Wellens and James Coppinger on the bench, to allow his more senior players the chance to give knocks and injuries time to heal.
Despite Dickov appealing to his players to attack and score goals, the Rovers' attacking potential seemed blunt, apart from Kyle Bennett, who did seem determined to make the most of his chance to impress.
And it was Bennett who had the bal in the net in the second half, only to be denied by the referee who, after consulting with his linesman (sorry, assistant referee...) decided that Curtis Main was in an offside position and decreed to be interfering with play.
It looked like a borderline decision, and one that cost Rovers dearly, as Notts County took the lead soon afterwards as Noble fired home 16 minutes from time.
Rovers' dreams of Wembley have ended for this season - unless the somewhat lengthier and harder challenge of the FA Cup brings remarkable success. And a few away draws, perhaps?
December 10, 2014
What the managers said
Boss Paul Dickov was annoyed with the refereeing decision that denied Rovers taking the lead in the second half of last night's game, with Notts County going on to score only six minutes later, which ultimately won them the game.
He told the Doncaster Star after the game: “We’ve had a goal chalked off and I’ve had several conflicting reports about it - and that’s before going to see the referee. The referee was in a fantastic position so it’s confusing why he’d take the advice of the linesman. Nobody has touched it on the way through. It was a big decision and it cost us massively. If the goal’s given we go on and win the game, which we should have done. It was a difficult game for both teams because there wasn’t a big crowd. But I told the players at half time they needed to go out, run around and get the supporters up for it."
Dickov defended his decision to make five changes from Saturday's game, as he strives to use his squad to get through a busy sequence of matches.
He explained: "In the first half we looked lethargic, we lacked the continuity we’ve had recently and I’ll take the blame for that because we made five changes. But I don’t regret making them."
"Some of them were forced. Reece [Wabara] and Enda [Stevens] have both had little niggles. They’ve both been running on empty recently. We wanted to try and look after Richie [Wellens] and Copps too. They’ve both been playing with injuries for the last few games. Ideally I would’ve kept the same team tonight but the last thing I wanted to do was to lose players for the games we’ve got coming up over Christmas."
Notts County boss Shaun Derry conceded that fortune was on their side over the chalking off of Rovers' "goal". He commented: "We had a stroke of fortune with their goal being disallowed. On a different day that would have been allowed, I know that and they know that, and suddenly it could have been a change in result. I am thankful that it went our way. I didn't see the incident in live play but I don't know, he has made his decision and I am thankful for it."
Of the performance overall, he added: "I am really proud, of course I am. It's a game we wanted to win, we wanted to come here and compete. It's a competition we are taking seriously this season and that was show by the team I picked. I'm really proud of them. I thought the shape and discipline and the understanding of how we wanted to play was to the tee really."
December 10, 2014
Rovers warned over flares
Doncaster Rovers have been warned by the FA that they will be punished if supporters continue to set off flares and smoke bombs at games, as has been the case recently.
A small number of "supporters" clearly think it a bit joke to make a spectacle, but Rovers have warned that once they are caught, they will take tough action against the culprits.
Flares have been set off at Scunthorpe United, Barnsley, Crewe Alexandra and Fleetwood Town's grounds by Rovers supporters this season, and the club have warned that offenders will be banned. Flares and smoke bombs are among a number of items banned inside all football stadiums in Britain.
Rovers issued a statement that reads: "Doncaster Rovers Football Club would like to reiterate our stance that we are absolutely against the use of pyrotechnics inside or outside of any football stadium. Supporters found using pyrotechnics either at Keepmoat Stadium or at any away ground will be the subject of action by the club and the police. Such is the determination of the authorities to eradicate the use of pyrotechnics from football, any supporter found to be using them could be liable to a criminal conviction and, in certain cases, imprisonment."
"The Football Association have explained the serious financial repercussions the club will now face should there be further pyrotechnic devices brought inside stadiums by our fans."
A statement by the FA said: “Please be advised that we may have to consider disciplinary action against the club if further reports of spectator misconduct should be received."
We urge anyone that knows the identity of those who are setting off these devices to report them to the club and police.
December 10, 2014
Parkin on target
Former Doncaster Rovers loan striker Jon Parkin scored Forest Green Rovers' equaliser in the 35th minute of their Conference game at home to promotion rivals Woking. They went on to win the game 2-1, which lifts Forest Green up to sixth place, just one point behind third place Woking.
Barnet are currently well clear at the top of the table, nine points ahead of second placed Bristol Rovers.
December 10, 2014
"Big Screen" in action
The new "big screen", which was unveiled in time for Rovers' home game against Sheffield United last month, was again in evidence at last night's game at the Keepmoat Stadium.
The improvement of the screen, which previously was a basic two-line text version, was announced in the summer, and is situated in the south-west corner of the ground.
Commercial Manager, Andrew Whitham, said: “Requests for the Big Screen have been made in almost every ‘In Rovers We Trust’ survey carried out over the past two years, so this project has been taken a long time to complete. Finding the right deal for the club which ensured that the screen didn’t require a large financial outlay and could generate a return on investment hasn’t been easy, but we have been able to meet those parameters.Over the next few games the production will improve and I’m sure our fans will love the content being produced.”
December 9, 2014
Rovers v Notts County
Although there do not appear to be any new injury concerns ahead of this evening's Johnstone's Paint Trophy game against Notts County, Paul Dickov could elect to shuffle his pack as Rovers continue with their busy schedule of matches.
Striker Nathan Tyson will miss today's match as he continues to receive treatment for a calf injury that kept him out of action on Saturday. A number of players played on Saturday despite being reported to be doubtful due to knocks picked up in recent games, so some may be given the night off against County. Dean Furman, Harry Forrester and Marc de Val Fernandez are among those who could step up if required.
Defender Rob Jones is unlikely to feature after a lengthy injury absence, despite returning to training last week.
Notts County have an almost fully fit squad for their trip to the Keepmoat Stadium, with only Jimmy Spencer a long-term injury victim. He suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury in pre-season, and is set to miss the whole season. County will also be without winger Zeli Ismail, who has returned to Wolves after having surgery on a cartilage injury. Blair Adams could return after missing their last game due to injury, and Ryan Hall could also play after arriving on loan from Rotherham United. Hayden Mullins is still recovering from a calf injury, and will not play tonight.
Louis Laing is hoping to get a chance this evening after overcoming a 'dead leg'. Laing has been on loan at County from Nottingham Forest, but has not played since their win at Scunthorpe in October.
Former Manchester United, Newcastle United and Leeds United striker Alan Smith, now playing in midfield, could also be recalled after overcoming a calf injury.
December 9, 2014
Dickov pleased to be back home
Rovers boss Paul Dickov is pleased to be back at the Keepmoat Stadium this evening after five consecutive away games. His squad should be full of confidence, despite indifferent home form, with three wins and two draws in that five game away run.
He told the Doncaster Star: "It’ll be nice to come back home. We’re in good form, we’re playing with a lot of confidence and resilience.We want to start getting results here at the Keepmoat."
"We’ve just got to continue doing what we’re doing. If defensively you’re not sound, as we weren’t at times at the start of the season, it can create a bit of panic. Having that is allowing us to go and play football which we want to do against Notts County."
"At home we’ve tended to keep the ball for keeping it’s sake. It’s a fine line from being patient with it to not doing enough. We need to move the ball with tempo to move teams around and we’ve been very good at that recently.”
December 9, 2014
Tonight's match officials
The match officials appointed to take control of this evening's Johnstone's Paint Trophy game against Notts County at the Keepmoat Stadium are:
Referee: David Webb
Assistant referees: Paul Marsden and Peter Wright
Fourth official: Gary Sutton
December 9, 2014
Rovers drawn at home in cup
Paul Dickov may have been dreaming of a draw against either of the Manchester Premier League clubs, but instead Rovers have been handed a home tie against fellow League One club Bristol City.
The draw will probably leave both clubs a little disappointed not to have been drawn against a top level club, but at least it gives Rovers with a decent chance of reaching the fourth round for the first time in thirty years.
The game will be played on the weekend of January 3rd and 4th.
The draw means that the League One game between Rovers and Bristol City will be postponed, as the two are due to meet in league action on Saturday 24th January, the date of the fourth round, and whatever the outcome of the Third Round game, one club will still be involved in the FA Cup!
The full draw can be seen by clicking on the logo to the left.
December 9, 2014
Crewe game rescheduled
Doncaster Rovers' home game against Crewe Alexandra, which was due to be played on Saturday, 3rd January, has been postponed due to Rovers being involved in the Third Round of the FA Cup on that weekend.
The game has been rescheduled for Tuesday, 17th February with a 7:45pm kick-off.
All tickets sold for the original date will still be valid, but can be returned if you cannot attend the game on the new date.
December 9, 2014
Voting results v Oldham
At one time, it looked as though every single player that took part in Saturday's FA Cup game at Oldham Athletic would receive at least one vote. In the end, we received nominations for nine different players, with a consequent fairly level allocation of votes throughout.
Four players tied for top place - Enda Stevens, Richie Wellens, Luke McCullough and Andy Butler, who all received 15.38% of the vote.
Thank you to everyone who voted - the next poll will open after this evening's home game against Notts County.
December 8, 2014
Youth Team 3 Notts County 1
The youth team continued their good season, having won their previous three games, by picking up all three points in a keenly contested game against Notts County at Cantley Park.
Both sides started the game brightly, and Rovers had the first real chance of the game, when Aron Gordon cut inside to find space to shoot, but his left-footed drive went well over the bar. County responded with a shot from Fyfe that also was just too high, but it was a mistake from County that led to the first goal. A back-pass saw the County keeper miscontrol the ball, and despite his efforts to make amends, he could not stop the ball rolling into the net.
The first half ended level, and early in the second half, it took to good saves from McLaren to deny the visitors taking the lead. Rovers retook the lead in the 64th minute when another mistake by the Notts County goalkeeper saw him mistime his punch from a corner, with the ball hitting the post, and giving Aron Gordon the simple task of prodding the ball over the line from close range.
The final game came five minutes later, with a long ball over the top of the County defence by McLaren being flicked on by Liam Mandeville finding Davies, who lobbed the keeper.
Doncaster Rovers: McLaren, Greasley, Carberry, Head, P McKay, Brown, Davies, Parkin, Linley, Mandeville, Gordon
Substitutes: Walker, Iveson, Fielding, Barker, Williamson
Notts County: Parkes, Rigby, Payling, Richards, Myers, Layton, Fyfe, Wilding, Bishop (C) McCartney, Sarpong
Substitutes: Brown (for McCartney, 45), Richards (for Rigby, 71), Blainey (for Wilding, 71), Symons Dearle, Richards
December 8, 2014
Late Whitman goal wins cup tie
A late goal by former Rovers striker Tristram Whitman saw AFC Mansfield go through to the fourth round of the FA Vase this weekend, when they defeated Mickleover Royals in a tight cup tie.
Whitman, now dubbed a "veteran midfielder", netted the only goal of the game with virtually the last kick of the game to give Mickleover no chance of responding. It had been a "frenzied, scrappy midfield battle", with few real goal scoring opportunities - before Whitman had that crucial last word, by cutting in from the left and chipping the Mickleover goalkeeper with what proved to be the almost the last kick of the game.
December 8, 2014
Rovers doubt over Tyson
Doncaster Rovers boss Paul Dickov confirmed on Saturday that striker Nathan Tyson missed Saturday's first team game with a calf strain. That injury is likely to prevent him from training for most of this week, with Dickov unwilling to rush him back to make sure that he is fit for the Christmas and New Year games.
He told the Doncaster Star: "With all the games we’ve got coming up over Christmas, we’ve got to make sure Nathan is right first."
December 8, 2014
Dickov dreams of cup draw
Boss Paul Dickov is keeping his fingers crossed that Doncaster Rovers will be drawn against either Manchester United or Manchester City in this evening's FA Cup Third Round draw.
A draw against a Premier League club would be a big money earner for Rovers, who are having to operate with a reduced budget this season, and could allow an increase in the budget available for the second half of the season.
Dickov told the Doncaster Star after Saturday's win against Oldham: "A club very close to here wouldn’t be too bad. I’ve been lucky enough as a manager to draw Liverpool twice and everyone wants one of the big clubs. But really it doesn’t matter. We’re in the hat, we can enjoy the draw on Monday night and that’s the main thing."
"Our main aim, like a lot of lower league clubs, was to get to the third round and we’re delighted to have done that."
A draw against City would see Dickov matched up against another of his former clubs, with Dickov adding: “The FA Cup is a competition that was very good to me as a player, and in the short time as a manager as well. Everybody wants a plum tie in the third round, and we want it for the fans more than anything else. There’s nothing better than sitting at home, watching the FA Cup draw, knowing that you are in the hat. It’s everybody’s dream, for teams outside the Premier League and Championship, to get one of the big boys and we are no different."
The draw for the third round will be shown on BBC 2 at 7pm this evening.
December 7, 2014
Oldham Athletic 0 Rovers 1
On a bitterly cold afternoon, Oldham and Rovers seemed to be heading towards a goalless draw and a replay back at the Keepmoat Stadium in ten days' time, but an unfortunate own goal by Oldham defender Genséric Kusunga four minutes from time saw Rovers through to the third round draw, which will be made tomorrow evening at 7pm, and broadcast live on BBC 2.
Rovers are number 56 in the draw, and the third round will be played on the weekend of 3rd and 4th January 2015.
The home side had more possession in the early stages of the game, but Rovers always seemed to have more purpose and industry when they did get the ball and had good goal scoring opportunities, including those which fell to Curtis Main and Kyle Bennett. Oldham's best chance in the first period came from a Rovers mistake, when James Coppinger under hit a back pass to Sam Johnstone, who had to dash to get to the ball ahead of Danny Philliskirk. Rovers' best chance for Rovers came on 32 minutes, when Wellens chested the ball down before playing a one-two with Theo Robinson, who scuffed his shot with only Paddy Kenny to beat. Johnstone had to be alert to deny ex-Rover Jonathan Forte, and Ibehere fired over the bar from 12 yards.
While Rovers had the better of the first half, Oldham were more dominant after the break, which Rovers spent much of on the back foot. But as Chelsea found at Newcastle earlier in the day, possession counts for nothing unless you score goals, that proved to be the case for Oldham, with that own goal in the 86th minute proving to be all that separated the sides.
December 7, 2014
What the managers said
Post-match comments by either manager were a little thin on the ground after yesterday's FA Cup tie at Oldham Athletic, but Rovers boss Paul Dickov was pleased to have got through to the next round against one of his former clubs.
He told BBC Radio Sheffield after the game: "I thought it was an even game throughout. We had a good spell in the first half and Oldham had a lot of possession in the second half without ever troubling us. The odd goal was always going to win the game and we felt confident the way the second half panned out. I thought we had the better chances throughout the game and Paddy Kenny made three tremendous saves including one near the end. It was an even game but I thought we deserved it."
Oldham Athletic boss Lee Johnson told BBC Radio Manchester: "We have lost two home games in the last two cup encounters that we probably shouldn't have, and I'm disappointed. We have ourselves in a good league position by doing things we didn't do today - running and hustling. Our league form is very good over a sustained period of time, but I don't know why the psychology has dropped off a little bit today. I couldn't explain it. If I could, I would be a better manager than I am now."
December 7, 2014
Goals review
We begin our review of former Doncaster Rovers players scoring goals yesterday in the Scottish Championship, where Dean Shiels had a rare outing for Rangers, and scored the only goal of the game as the Glasgow club beat Cowdenbeath at Ibrox. The result keeps Rangers in second place, nine points behind leaders Heart of Midlothian.
Moving into non-league football, Bradley Grayson scored twice for Stocksbridge Park Steels as they won 3-2 at Newcastle Town in the Evo-Stik League Division One (South), but it still leaves Stocksbridge in 20th place in the league table, although they have a ten point advantage on the clubs in the relegation places.
Finally, a goal scorer that we noticed from last weekend, with Simon Whaley (admittedly only at Rovers briefly, but he was here!), who is now player/manager at Eagley, scoring twice as the Eagles beat Thornton Cleveley 5-4 in the West Lancashire League.
December 7, 2014
700 up for James
Former Doncaster Rovers striker James Hayter made the 700th senior appearance of his career yesterday when he played for Yeovil Town in their FA Cup game at Accrington Stanley.
He made his debut for Bournemouth against Peterborough United in May 1997, and he went on to play 407 games for the Cherries, during which time he hit the record books, scoring the quickest-ever hat-trick in the Football League against Wrexham.
James moved on to Doncaster Rovers in 2007 for a £200,000 fee, and his goal at Wembley against Leeds United ensured that he would go down in Rovers' history as he fired Rovers into the Championship.
The next move came in the summer of 2012, when he moved to Yeovil Town.
During James' career, he has scored 172 goals - so far.
We would like to congratulate James on this magnificent achievement and look forward to him playing many more games in his career.
December 7, 2014
Fanzine short-listed in national awards
The Doncaster Rovers fanzine, "Popular Stand" has been short-listed for the National Football Supporters' Federation Awards fanzine of the year accolade, with readers nominating their favourite fanzines, and a public vote determining the winner.
The award was won by the Leeds United fanzine "The Square Ball", but it is a great achievement to have been recognised this highly.
Fanzine editor Glen Wilson told the Doncaster Star: "I think the success for us was making it onto the shortlist, to be honest. That’s a big pat on the back, a big confidence boost, to show that we’re being noticed for what we’re doing when it can be a struggle to put it together."
December 6, 2014
Oldham Athletic v Rovers
An intriguing FA Cup tie is in store at Boundary Park this afternoon when Doncaster Rovers attempt to get into the Third Round at the expense of hosts Oldham Athletic.
It marks Paul Dickov's first return to Boundary Park since he resigned as their manager in February 2013, before going on to join Rovers the following summer.
Dickov reckons that the financial limitations at Oldham have prepared him well for life at Rovers, but while he has nothing but good words to say about his former employers, he will be keen for Rovers to make it through to the next round this afternoon.
There are four Rovers players whose fitness will have to be checked before Dickov names his side, but with the thin nature of the Rovers squad, he will be hoping that most, if not all, are passed as fit. Rovers will give checks to James Coppinger, Paul Keegan and Enda Stevens, with Nathan Tyson also doubtful after missing the midweek game at Barnsley with a calf injury.
Enda Stevens, Andy Butler and Sam Johnstone have been given permission to play in the FA Cup for Rovers, and all played in the first round game at Weston Super Mare last month.
Skipper Rob Jones has returned to training, but will not be risked in today's game.
For Oldham, former Rovers defender Adam Lockwood misses the game, and may yet miss the rest of the season after picking up a knee injury recently. They will also be without James Wilson (suspension), and the injured Jabo Ibehre, with George Elkoboi rated 50/50 for the game.
It is uncertain whether Bolton Wanderers will allow Paddy Kenny and Tom Youngs, who moved to Oldham on loan ahead of the 'deadline' to play this afternoon.
December 6, 2014
Today's match officials
The match officials who have been appointed to take charge of today's FA Cup game at Boundary Park are:
Referee: Lee Collins
Assistant referees: Simon Clayton and Ben Toner
Fourth official: David Benton
December 6, 2014
Cold night, but game is on
Oldham Athletic have confirmed that this afternoon's FA Cup tie against Doncaster Rovers will go ahead as planned, despite sub-zero temperatures at their ground last night.
With the weather forecasts giving them notice of the cold conditions, the Latics decided to cover the pitch with frost covers to make sure that today's game will go ahead on time.
December 6, 2014
Stevens has loan extended
Doncaster Rovers manager Paul Dickov has announced that the loan of Aston Villa will be extended when it expires on Monday.
With Stevens impressing in recent games, Dickov told the Yorkshire Post on Thursday: "We have spoken to Aston Villa. His loan runs out on Monday, but hopefully he will sign the forms today or tomorrow.”
"He’s really picked up. I thought he was excellent again the other night [at Barnsley] and I thought he had his best game for us at Crewe. He’s getting better and he’s getting stronger. His fitness levels are getting better as well, so fingers crossed he’ll be okay for Saturday.”
December 5, 2014
Challenge for Harry
Rovers midfielder Harry Forrester may be having to put up with a place on the bench in recent games, but he is still keen to impress boss Paul Dickov and win a place back in the Rovers side. But he also recognises that there is stiff competition for places in the Rovers side, and that he will have to bide his time to win a place back in the starting eleven.
He told the Yorkshire Post: "It’s been a rollercoaster ride so far. It’s been up and down. I’ve been on the bench the last couple which is never where you want to be. But the boys are doing well and as long as we’re getting a win, that’s all that matters. Competition is good. We thrive off that. It’s up to me to get back into it. I’d like to be on the pitch as much as I can and score more goals. It will come and I’m not putting any pressure on myself. The boys who have come in have done exceptionally well so that takes a bit of pressure off me anyway as I haven’t got to carve something out of nothing."
Even so, he is still trying to work out where he fits into the Rovers formation, which has seen the side add the "diamond" formation to the various other formats used this season.
He added in comments to the Doncaster Free Press: "To be totally honest I’m not entirely sure yet what my best position is. I like playing at the tip of a diamond, in a number ten role. But I’m happy on either wing as well. I think I’m quite flexible in that respect. Last season when I broke into the team after my injuries I played off Browny as a second striker, so I don’t think I’m limited. I can play on the left or right too. Being right-footed there’s a different job to be done on each side. On the left I can cut in and shoot, on the right it’s more about getting it out of your feet and crossing it.”
December 5, 2014
Furman breaks records
Not only has midfielder Dean Furman been appointed as the captain of South Africa recently, leading his side to qualification for the African Cup of Nations finals, but he has now received more international caps while at the club than any other player in Rovers' history.
Furman has been capped 15 times since joining Rovers in March 2013, which beats the 14 won by Len Graham for Northern Ireland in his time at Rovers between 1949 and 1958.
December 5, 2014
Dickov praises 'fringe' players
Boss Paul Dickov has praised the attitude of players such as Theo Robinson, Harry Forrester and Dean Furman, all of who have been on 'bench duty' in recent games.
However, their approach has been to Rovers' benefit, with all coming off the bench in recent games to good effect and has helped Rovers to continue their recent unbeaten run.
He told the Doncaster Star: "The spirit’s fantastic here, I’ve always said that. The players that aren’t in the team back the ones that are playing one hundred per cent, and vice versa. It’s more important sometimes to look after the players who aren’t in the team a little bit more than the ones that are - and keep them going. If they come on and make an impression like they have done, it’s good for me. It gives me a problem, but it’s a great problem to have."
December 5, 2014
Rovers Development XI 0 Gateshead 1
Doncaster Rovers went down to a 23rd minute goal by Dean Briggs against an experienced Gateshead side that included former Rovers strikers Lewis Guy and Michael Rankine.
Rovers included Cedric Evina for another outing as he continues to progress back after injury, also including first team squad players Marko Marosi, Jamie McCombe, Harry Middleton and Marc de Val Fernandez in with the younger squad members.
It had been hoped that Rob Jones, who has resumed training recently, would be fit enough to take part, but he did not feature in the squad for the game.
Rovers threatened very little in the early stages, and it was the experienced visiting strike force of Lewis Guy, Michael Rankine and John Shaw that provided problems for the Rovers defence, with Marosi having to save well from Rankine in the 21st minute before being beaten by Briggs' well placed shot from 20 yards.
Rovers responded with Middleton firing into the side netting, and the Gateshead then continued to thwart the efforts of the home players.
It was an improved performance by Rovers after the break, but chances were thin on the ground, and what chances there were failed to land on target.
Doncaster Rovers: Marko Marosi, Mitchell Lund, Cedric Evina, Jamie McCombe, Paul McKay), Billy Whitehouse, Lewis Ferguson, Harry Middleton, Marc De Val Fernandez, Jack McKay, Liam Mandeville
Substitutes: Scott Brown (for P McKay, 42), Alex Head (for Fernandez, 57), Michael Carberry (for Evina, 63), Jack McLaren, Aron Gordon
Gateshead: Jack Wilson, Andrai Jones, Jonathan O’Donnell, Dean Briggs, Valentin Gjokat (Michael Cummings, 74), Dillon Morse, Michael Rankine, Lewis Guy, John Shaw, Danny Wright, Ryan Wilson.
Substitutes: Michael Cummings (for Gjokat, 74), Andy White (for Dean Briggs, 86), Brad Mills, Meechak Kanda
December 5, 2014
Voting results v Barnsley
We received nominations for seven different players to be the "Man of the Match" for Tuesday evening's away game at Oldham Athletic.
The contribution of returning striker Theo Robinson earned the most votes, with the Jamaican international earning just over one in three of all votes cast.
The players receiving the most votes were:
1 Theo Robinson (36.84%)
2 Kyle Bennett (26.32%)
3 Richie Wellens (15.79%)
4 James Coppinger (10.53%)
Thanks to everyone for taking the time to vote - the next poll will open after Saturday's FA Cup tie at Oldham Athletic.
December 4, 2014
New date agreed for County game
The home league game against Notts County has been rearranged for Tuesday, 20th January. The original game, 11th October, was postponed due to international call-ups, with a provisional new date of 6th December - if both teams were knocked out of the FA Cup, which they weren't.
The game kicks off at 7:45pm, and means that Rovers have three home games in the space of seven days in January, with the County game sandwiched in between home fixtures against Barnsley and Bristol City.
In the meantime, Rovers face Notts County in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy next Tuesday (9th December), but please remember that, for some reason, this game kicks off at 7:30pm instead of the usual 7:45pm.
December 4, 2014
Travel information to Peterborough

The Supporters Club are running coaches to the forthcoming away game at Peterborough United, which is on Sunday, 28th December.
They will leave Retford at 10.15am, Bawtry 10.20, Harworth 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 £15 - OAPs £14 - Under 16s £13
Non-members: Adults £17 - OAPs £16 - Under 16s £15
To book a seat, please phone Paul Mayfield (07961 727769) or Len South (01302 817347) after 6pm, but please note that bookings are only taken until the Wednesday before the game. Anyone under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a 'responsible adult'.

December 4, 2014
Kyle a good role model
Boss Paul Dickov is convinced that midfielder Kyle Bennett can be a role model to other players in the Rovers squad. A fringe player in his earlier days at Rovers, the spell out on loan at Bradford City last term seems to have kick-started his career, with Rovers fans enjoying good performances from him this season.
Paul Dickov told the Doncaster Star last week: "Kyle came back after the summer with a bit of maturity, he’d be the first to admit that. Even when Kyle was here last year I had a good relationship with him."
"We’re all desperate to see him do well. The two things that bugged him, even before I came here, were his inconsistency - not just game-to-game but within games as well - and possibly his work rate. But one thing he is doing for this team is working really hard."
"I think he realises now, first and foremost, that’s what you’ve got to do. We all know the ability he has got. His ability is outstanding. Maybe he’s become a bit more a team player now. I do think getting married and having a kid has given him a focus in life. He can become an example to the other younger lads at this club," added Dickov.
"We want to develop our players here and if they work hard, they’ll get their chance. Although Kyle’s still young himself, there’s a maturity in how he speaks to people now as well, including the younger lads coming through. And the more people we’ve got like that in the changing room the better."
December 4, 2014
Harry praises Butler
Rovers midfielder Harry Forrester has praised the way that Andy Butler has played since arriving at the club on loan last month, giving the Rovers defence some leadership and solidity that has been missing while skipper Rob Jones has been sidelined due to a knee injury.
Butler's arrival has coincided with the recent upturn in form, which Harry reckons is no small coincidence.
He told the Doncaster Star: "He’s a leader. He knows the league very well. He’s experienced and he gets the lads going. We’ve probably missed that a bit with the skip [Rob Jones] being out injured. But Andy’s probably helped get everyone together and galvanised."
"He’s a winner, and that helps. We’ve got a young back four. People forget that, so when you’ve got someone there just to steady the ship and organise from the back it helps the rest of us."
December 4, 2014
Another leaves the Rovers
Doncaster Rovers have confirmed that Communications Manager, Shaun Lockwood, has left the club. His job is being advertised, as is an assistant in the same department, and potentially marks a large shift in a key part of the club.
Shaun has been with Rovers since 2008, but has decided to move out of the football industry to get a job with more regular hours, which will allow him to spend more time with his young family.
In the period while his replacement is sought, Ryan Murrant, formerly of Southend United and Crawley Town, will be performing the role.
Lockwood said before leaving: "It has been a difficult decision to leave Doncaster Rovers, as I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at the club. There are some great people here, staff, fans and players alike who really understand what the club is about. There is a clear strategy to grow the club and overtime I’m sure this will be successful and help deliver the success on the pitch that the fans deserve. In Ryan we have an excellent interim appointment who is an expert in fan engagement and I hope he enjoys his time at the club as much as I have."
December 3, 2014
Barnsley 1 Rovers 1
The South Yorkshire derby at Oakwell ended in a 1-1 draw, with Rovers again coming back to equalise after conceding the first goal of the game. With both sides having an indifferent season so far as far as results are concerned, maybe a draw was not totally unexpected.
But Rovers boss Paul Dickov is probably disappointed not to have won the game after having the better of the game, especially in the second half, when Barnsley offered little.
Rovers conceded early in the first half, with the home side scoring in the fifth minute through a good header from an unmarked Nyatanga from Conor Hourihane’s corner. However, it took until the second half when Theo Robinson struck seven minutes after the restart to level matters. The fact that the game ended in a draw was due to Rovers not being able to convert their domination into goals, something which must frustrate their manager, who had made just one change to the starting line-up for the game, with Theo Robinson replacing the injured Nathan Tyson. Much of the reason that Rovers failed to win the game was down to former Rovers keeper Ross Turnbull, who was in inspired form for Barnsley.
December 3, 2014
What the managers said
Rovers boss Paul Dickov felt that his side should have won last night's game at Barnsley after dominating the second half.
He told BBC Radio Sheffield: "A point is better than nothing. I've had a go at them after the game. I felt after the opening 15 minutes in the second half when we got on top we were sloppy. I congratulated them on coming back yet again but I gave them a rocket for being sloppy in a game I felt we should have won. We are a very good team when we get the basics right and play two-touch football, we drag ourselves down when we try and complicate things."
"It's another point away from home, it's a point gained coming from behind but we feel as if it should be three points, I thought we did enough to win the game. But it was Sod's Law that Ross makes three or four unbelievable saves to keep them in it. But the performance levels for the majority of the game were very good. We started the game poorly, concentration levels were poor and it was too easy for Barnsley. After that some of the football we played was fantastic. Big Ross has kept them in it."
He finished by commenting "It does keep the run going though and it is now just one defeat in seven games."
Barnsley boss Danny Wilson accepted that his side did not play at their best, and was happy to come away at the end of the evening with a point.
He told their official web site after the game: "We think we can do better than we did in certain points of the game. We look a bit anxious at times and they try and force things and that doesn't work."
"We got off to a good start but Doncaster played some good football against us. Overall was it a fair result? Maybe, maybe not. We did well in certain points of the game but not all of it. When they got the goal you think they're in the ascendancy but we weathered most of the storm. Defensively we were okay, it was just when we went forward. The boys want to do so well for their team-mates and club sometimes they are over compensating and it's the little indecisions that is costing us at times. It's not easy in a game that was as frenetic as it was. It was end-to-end but if we showed a bit of calmness in key areas we could have got more from the game. We had to batten down the hatches for parts of the game and we did that. We have thankfully come away with a point on another day we might have got nothing had Ross not made those saves."
December 3, 2014
Youth Team 2 York City 0
Youth team boss Paul Stancliffe made a number of changes for Saturday's home game against York City, after a number of his squad had featured for the full 90 minutes of the Development XI during the week.
York began the match brightly and dominated possession in the early stages, with Rovers keeper Jonny Iveson having to come off his line quickly to deny York. Rovers then had chances when Ryan Wanless's header went just wide, and then they were denied a penalty appeal when Matty Davies went down in the penalty area.
Rovers went in front in the 22nd minute when Danny Wright headed home from a cross by Davies. The lead almost doubled moments later, but the score remained at 1-0 until half time.
Liam Mandeville caused York problems several times in the second half, but still Rovers could not get the second goal. Pressure eventually paid off in the 89th minute when defender Paul McKay volleyed home from a corner kick.
Doncaster Rovers: Iveson, Carberry, Greasley, Brown, Williamson, Linley, Davies, Gordon, Parkin, Mandeville, Wanless
Substitutes: J McKay (for Wanless, 65) Head (for Parkin, 74), P McKay (for Greasley, 75) McLaren
York City: Wright, Morley, Jefferson, G. Wilson, De Groot, Godfrey, Freer, Hardey, Caulfield, Parker, C. Wilson.
Substitutes: Hirst (for Freer, 60), Hirst, Price, Salmon, Collis and Leen.
December 3, 2014
Rovers analyst leaves
Doncaster Rovers have confirmed that First Team Analyst, Adam Smith, has left his post at the club to join Wigan Athletic after a three year stay at Rovers.
They have confirmed that he has been replaced by Adam Ridgewell, who held a similar post at MK Dons.
Boss Paul Dickov commented to DROS: "Adam’s input has been invaluable to what we do on a day to day basis. The role is integral to match days and the development of players through the system and the stats that he receives we try to use to our advantage. He goes with our best wishes."
December 2, 2014
Barnsley v Rovers
Doncaster Rovers make the short trip to Oakwell this evening for their rearranged League One game against Barnsley which was postponed earlier in the season due to international call-ups.
Rovers go into the South Yorkshire derby in better form than their hosts, being undefeated in their last three games, despite all of them being away from home.
Rovers have no new injury or suspension issues and could name an unchanged team for the third successive game, but Paul Dickov will have to check on the fitness of striker Nathan Tyson, who has been struggling with a knock in recent games, and was substituted in Saturday's game at Crewe.
Rob Jones and Cedric Evina both resumed training last week, but are not expected to be under consideration for this evening's game.
Barnsley boss Danny Wilson will be missing striker Sam Winnall, who sustained a hamstring injury against his former club, Scunthorpe, on Saturday and faces a three-week layoff. Martin Crainie will also miss the game, as he serves a one match suspension this evening. Both Peter Ramage (leg) and fellow defender Ryan Williams (groin) are doubtful and face fitness tests before Barnsley name their side.
December 2, 2014
Turnbull eager to face former club
Ex-Rovers goalkeeper Ross Turnbull turns out for Barnsley this evening, facing Rovers for the first time since making the switch across South Yorkshire during the summer.
Turnbull played 31 games for Rovers last term before injury saw him lose his place to Sam Johnstone, who will again be in the Rovers goal this evening.
Ross told the Doncaster Star ahead of the game: "I’m really looking forward to the game, it will be great to see a lot of the lads. I still speak to Rob Jones and some of the lads there. I’ve still got quite a few friends at the club. I suppose it will be a little strange playing against them. It was the other way round last season when I played for Doncaster against Barnsley. But I’ll just try and be professional as I would in any other game. I’m playing for Barnsley now and I want to do everything I can to try and help us get a win."
He added: "I had a great time at Doncaster, I’ve got lots of fond memories. I was injured towards the end of last season, so that wasn’t great, but I was grateful for the chance to play some regular football with them. I think there were discussions at the end of the season to keep me longer, but nothing really materialised. The club got a new owner and a lot of players left, but that’s football and you move on. I signed for Barnsley and it’s been a good challenge for me."
December 2, 2014
Tonight's match officials
The match officials appointed by the Football League for this evening's League One game at Barnsley are:
Referee: Nigel Miller
Assistant referees: Barry Cropp and Matt McGrath
Fourth official: Mark Haywood
December 2, 2014
Dickov praises 'bouncebackability' of Rovers
Rovers boss Paul Dickov has praised the ability of his players to respond in the right manner when they have conceded a goal. They have conceded the first goal in 12 out of their 17 league games so far this season, which is something that he obviously has concerned about, but at least he has seen that in recent games, they are able to come equalise.
He told the Doncaster Star: "There’s a really good togetherness about the lads at the minute, and a desire to do well. I think that shows in the recent results. We came back at Bradford and won, went behind at Rochdale and won, went behind at Crewe and came back to draw. That shows there’s a lot of character in the squad. I’ve been really pleased with the fitness levels recently too. We’re finishing games looking really strong at the moment. The fact we’re coming from behind in games tells me that the players are gaining a lot of belief. Earlier in the season there were times we’d go a goal down and if we didn’t get the equaliser fairly soon we went a little bit flat."
Now all he has to do is work out how not to concede the first goal in each game!
December 2, 2014
Voting results v Crewe
We received nominations for four different players for the "Man of the Match" in Saturday's away game at Crewe Alexandra.
Midfielder James Coppinger again showed well in the voting, picking up almost half of all votes cast.
The players receiving most votes were:
1 James Coppinger (45.45%)
2 Paul Keegan (27.28%)
We thank everyone who took the time to vote. The next poll will open after this evening's away game against Barnsley.
December 1, 2014
Lockwood's injury agony
Former Doncaster Rovers skipper Adam Lockwood, now with Oldham Athletic, is to visit a specialist to see if he needs knee surgery that could keep him out of action for as long as nine months.
Lockwood has been out with a foot injury since pre-season training, but played in Oldham's reserves last Monday and was rated fit enough to be an unused substitute for the recent games against Sheffield United and Leyton Orient. However, a "slight twinge" in his knee after the reserves game - which didn't stop him training last week - looks like being more serious than first feared.
Adam will visit a top surgeon in London with an operation to repair a damaged cartilage the likely outcome. The best case scenario is said to be that he will be sidelined for only six weeks - but if it proves to be a microfracture, he could be out for at least six months, which could end his season. He will be hoping for only a short term absence, as his contract at Oldham runs out at the end of this season.
December 1, 2014
Travel information to Oldham Athletic
The Supporters Club will be running coaches to Saturday's FA Cup Second Round tie at Oldham Athletic.
They will leave Retford at 10.45am, Harworth 10.50am, Bawtry 11.00am, Rossington 11.00am, Hare & Tortoise 11.05am, Doncaster Royal Infirmary 11.15am and the Keepmoat Stadium at 11.30am.
Fares for the trip will be:
Members: Adults £13 - Senior Citizens £12 - Under 16s £11
Non-members: Adults £15 - Senior Citizens £14 - Under 16s £13
To book a place on the coach, please phone Paul Mayfield on 07961 727769 after 6pm, with all bookings needed by Wednesday evening.
Please note that for this match and for tomorrow's away game at Barnsley, you should not try to book with Len South - please also do NOT leave any booking requests on his answerphone for those games.
December 1, 2014
Dickov's diamond pays off
Rovers boss Paul Dickov is delighted that his introduction of the "diamond" formation has improved Rovers' performances in recent games.
Its introduction gives Rovers a different option in matches if they feel it appropriate and has helped them improve their recent form to just one defeat in the last six games.
Dickov told the Doncaster Star: "We’ve worked a lot in training on switching to a diamond in midfield if we have to. We did it the other week at Bradford when we put Harry Forrester in behind the front two. When Rochdale scored on Saturday, we decided after five or six minutes that we were going to change. It keeps the two centre forwards up top, occupying their centre halves and I thought Kyle Bennett was outstanding in the hole. It also gives a freer role to Richie Wellens and James Coppinger to go and join in and you’ve still got the security of Paul Keegan in behind."
"It suited us in the second half at Bradford and it did it again for the majority of the game at Rochdale."
December 1, 2014
Furman needs to win his place back
Doncaster Rovers midfielder Dean Furman may have been appointed as the new captain of the South African national side, but he still has to earn his place back in the Rovers side, says boss Paul Dickov.
Unfortunately for Dean, the after effects of travelling to play in international places often means that he has to sit out the next game or two, and with Dickov naming an unchanged side for Saturday's visit to Crewe, the same has happened this time.
He is also set to miss a few games in the New Year, as South Africa have now qualified for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations tournament, which takes place between 17th January and 8th February 2015.
Dickov told the Doncaster Star: "Dean’s missed a couple of games recently because of internationals but before that Dean played the majority of games for me. Before I left him out of the team he was up there in terms of being the midfielder with the most appearances. Dean knows what I think of him."