February 10, 2016
Travel details to Barnsley
The Rovers' Supporters Club are running coaches to the away game at Barnsley, which is on Saturday, 20th February.
Coaches leave Retford at 12.15pm, Harworth 12.20pm, Bawtry 12.30pm, Rossington 12.30pm, Hare & Tortoise 12.35pm, Doncaster Royal Infirmary 12.45pm and the Keepmoat Stadium at 1.00pam.
Fares for the trip are:
Members: Adults £11 - OAPs £10 - Under 16s £9
Non-members: Adults £13 - OAPs £12 - Under 16s £11
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.
February 10, 2016
Newport report Oldham to League
Newport County have sent a formal complaint in to the Football League over Oldham Athletic's approach for Newport's former manager, John Sheridan.
Ex-Rover Sheridan, now aged 51, was persuaded to move from Newport to Oldham, one of his former clubs, in January. At the time, Newport sent Sheridan their best wishes, but commented that "We are disappointed with the way that Oldham have conducted themselves."
Oldham are denying that they did anything wrong in their approach for Sheridan and the Football League will consider the situation in due course.
February 10, 2016
Baxendale converts loan to stay at Stags
Former Rovers midfielder James Baxendale has signed an 18 month contract at Mansfield Town after being at the club for a month on loan from Walsall.
James has struggled to hold down a first team place this season, but has impressed the Mansfield staff, scoring once in his five games for them since the beginning of January.
February 10, 2016
Lewis moves north again
Former Doncaster Rovers striker Lewis Guy is to have another crack at playing in Scottish football, being one of several players to sign for Scottish League Two club Annan Athletic, who are trying to get promoted from League Two for the first time in their history.
Guy has previously played in Scotland with St Mirren, and is seen by Annan boss Jim Chapman as being an experienced striker who can help the club's younger players.
February 9, 2016
New date for Scunny game
Doncaster Rovers have quickly agreed with Scunthorpe United on a new date for the game that was postponed on Saturday due to a waterlogged pitch.
The new date for the game is Tuesday, 8th March, with the game to kick-off at 7:45pm.
It gives Rovers a tough fixture schedule in March - they now play 7 games in 27 days.
February 9, 2016
Barnsley ticket information
Tickets for the forthcoming away game at Barnsley, which is on Saturday, 20th February, are now on sale to season ticket holders, multi-game holders and Alliance members. Any of the 1,500 allocation remaining unsold by next Monday (15th February) will go on general sale.
Please note that ticket prices bought in advance are cheaper than if bought at Oakwell on the day of the game.
Tickets bought in advance are:
Adults £20 - Senior Citizens (65+) £14 - Young adults (17-21) £10 - Juniors (12-16) £5 - Under 12s £1
Tickets bought on match day are:
Adults £25 - Senior Citizens (65+) £17 - Under 21s £17
Disabled supporters pay the relevant rate, but their carer, if required, is free - but there are limited availability of both wheelchair and ambulant disabled tickets.
Tickets are for unreserved seating.
February 9, 2016
Quinn - no regrets of Dons move
Ex-Rovers defender Paul Quinn has no regrets about leaving Ross County to join Aberdeen in the summer, and is glad to be back in Dingwall, and to make his second Ross County debut against Celtic ten days ago.
He was only at Aberdeen for six months, but insists: "I certainly don’t regret going to Aberdeen. It was a tough decision, based on the relationships I had here. That had a huge influence on whether I would leave or not. But the temptation of going to a club like Aberdeen was far too big to turn away – great club, great city and great supporters. I don’t regret it and at the same time I don’t regret the decision to come back here."
"I would have regretted it if I hadn’t tried it, and that would have been the biggest thing, and it’s testament to the manager and the chairman that they’ve not held that in any regards against me. They realised the opportunity and my decisions behind it. They backed me all the way. I’d spoken to them before, during and after I’d signed for Aberdeen and I got their full support."
Quinn's family failed to settle in Aberdeen, and was one of the main reasons for his decision to rejoin County.
February 9, 2016
Boyce wanted by Lincoln
Former Rovers defender Andrew Boyce has been attracting the attention of Lincoln City after seeing his chances at present club Scunthorpe United limited.
Boyce has previously played for the Imps, playing 60 games in an 18 month spell at the club before joining Scunthorpe in January 2014, initially on loan. Boyce has been out on loan at Grimsby Town and Hartlepool United, but Lincoln are reported to be considering making a move for the defender. Lincoln have just re-signed ex-Rover Jamie McCombe - another former Lincoln player.
February 8, 2016
Neal hopes for more games
Reports ahead of the weekend may have suggested that Rovers' first choice keeper Thorsten Stuckmann has resumed training, but on-loan keeper Chris Neal is hoping for more games during his loan spell at the club.
Neal played against Walsall on Tuesday evening, but his hopes of a second appearance were dashed by Saturday's game at Scunthorpe being postponed.
Speaking before the weekend, Neal told DROS: "I’ve been sitting on the bench at Port Vale for most of the season due to injury earlier on in the season so for me to come here and hopefully play a few games is just what I need. It’s a great club with a fantastic manager, there’s a great set of lads and I want to come in and play some games."
February 8, 2016
Jones sad at Rovers end
Rob Jones has spoken of his disappointment of the circumstances that led to him leaving the club last week, with the club and player "mutually agreeing" to cancel his contract with the club.
Jones has been with Rovers for three and a half years and was hoping it would have been longer.
He told the Doncaster Star: "I’m just really disappointed with the way that it’s finished to be brutally honest. I can look back with very fond memories of three-and-a-half years of all sorts of ups and downs. The way it’s ended though, I would have liked to have said goodbye in a more pleasant way."
He added: "When the new manager came in, very quickly he told me that I’d been made available for loan. I wasn’t something I really wanted to do. I was injured at first and then I suffered a head injury. Then it was just about getting fit and I started training last week. I was down to play in the U21 game at Grimsby but I’d only had one day of training so we thought it was best not to risk it. I was planning to play later this week."
"The manager had a meeting with the board last Thursday and then came to me proposing we cancel the contract and that’s how it ended. I can’t really say that the manager hasn’t given me an opportunity because there hasn’t really been the opportunity for him to do that. I’ve been injured and this has really been the only time when I’ve been properly fit. These things happen. It’s just disappointing."
Jones confirmed that he has no intention of hanging up his boots and will play on, and said: "I’ve got no intentions of finishing my career now. I’ve said all along that no one else will tell me when I’m going to stop playing, that decision will be mine. I’m fit again now, I just need games to get the sharpness back. I’m open to anything so we’ll see what offers come in, take our time and make the right choice."
February 8, 2016
McCormack stays at Fulham
Former Rovers loan striker Ross McCormack came close, if reports were to be believed, to leaving Fulham during the January transfer window, but the move to Middlesbrough failed to go through when the Teesiders completed a £9 million move for Jordan Rhodes.
The Daily Mail also reported that McCormack was disappointed to have a clause in his contract that would see him taking on a "non-playing" role when he reaches the age of 32, in three years time.
However, new reports now suggest that Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic is keen to see McCormack stay - without his goals this season, Fulham would be in deep trouble in the Championship - and in a bid to persuade him to stay beyond the summer, the club are set to offer him a new playing contract.
February 8, 2016
Moussa leaves Charlton
Ex-Rovers loan defender Franck Moussa has had his contract at Charlton Athletic cancelled "by mutual consent". He joined Charlton from Coventry City in the summer of 2014, but has only played seven games this season, with his last league appearance being back in November.
He played 14 games for Rovers in the 2010/11 season when on loan from Leicester City, and has since played for Chesterfield (loan 2011/12), Coventry City (2012-14) and Charlton (2014-16).
February 7, 2016
Scunthorpe game postponed
Yesterday afternoon's game at Scunthorpe United was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.
Referee Mark Haywood made the decision just before 12.30pm, shortly after he arrived at the ground. There had been persistent rain during the morning which resulted in parts of the pitch having standing water, especially in front of the dugouts, although by the time the game was due to be played, that water had drained away.
The match will now have to be rescheduled, but will obviously mean that it will be played during the week, thus meaning a lower crowd than would have attended yesterday. Anyone who cannot make the new date, when announced, should contact the ticket office for a refund.
February 7, 2016
Scunny chiefs "surprised" at ref's decision
Scunthorpe United's CEO, Jim Rodwell, expressed his surprise at the decision to call off yesterday afternoon's game. United had not planned an inspection before the game as they felt the pitch was completely playable - and the pictures published on Scunthorpe's official club site at 3pm showed that all surface water had, in fact, disappeared, even though a picture taken just after midday showed the standing water.
Rodwell told the Scunthorpe Telegraph! "We have no idea why it was called off. I am incredibly disappointed, upset and angry with the decision that has been made. The referee made the decision for an inspection where he got here. We didn't plan one because we didn't think there was any danger to the players. If he had given us another 15 minutes to half an hour to work on it then we could have had a very nice surface so I am very frustrated. He needed to give it a bit more time."
He added: "I am very frustrated because it is one of our biggest games of the season and we wanted it played on a Saturday rather than a Tuesday night. I am disappointed for all the supporters, sponsors and the players because come 3pm we would have had a game that we were all really looking forward too. There is no problem with the drainage. At the Gillingham game last season there was far more standing water and we were given a bit more time. That was an example of a good refereeing decision and this one was a less good decision. He should have given it a little bit more time and he could have passed it payable."
Caretaker boss Nick Daws was also frustrated at the decision, commenting: "We're really disappointed the referee has taken the decision to call the game off. We were looking forward to the game immensely and felt with the way we'd prepared and the good couple of results we'd had, it was a good opportunity for us to continue moving up the league. In some ways, you have to respect the referee's decision. At the time, the pitch was carrying a lot of water though there had been efforts by the ground staff to improve it. I expressed to the referee at the time he made the decision, at 12.15, that based on the information I had – which was the met office weather forecast on my laptop – it didn't look like we were going to get any rain beyond 2pm. It was light drizzle at that time, but it eased off not long after and the clouds were moving through the sky."
"I said to him that considering Doncaster Rovers only had half an hour to travel and didn't need to set off that early, that the decision was premature. If I was a betting man, I think the pitch would have been in a playable condition at 3pm. I understand it's unfair to get to that time and then make a decision when everybody is there. But if he'd left it until 1.30pm and the work had continued, we probably would have been all right. Hindsight I know is a wonderful thing."
Rovers had not arrived at the ground when the decision was made.
February 7, 2016
Goals review
With most of the non-league football in the area called off due to waterlogged pitches, there are not many former Rovers scoring goals yesterday to report on.
We begin in Scotland, where Paul Quinn scored a fourth minute goal for Ross County, who went on to win their home game against Linlithgow Rose 4-2 in the Fifth Round of the Scottish Cup.
In England, Michael Rankine scored to put Altrincham 1-0 up at Welling in the National League, but a last minute goal for the home side meant it finished in a 1-1 draw.
In a midweek match in the Derbyshire Senior Cup Quarter-Finals, Jordan Ball scored Gresley's final goal in their 4-1 home win over Pinxton.
February 7, 2016
Youth game also off
The youth team's game away at Scunthorpe United was postponed due a waterlogged pitch at Appleby Frodingham after heavy rain in the area during the morning.
A new date for the match will be announced in due course.
February 7, 2016
JET joins MK Dons
Former Rovers loan striker Jay Emmanuel-Thomas joined Milton Keynes Dons late on transfer deadline day. Emmanuel-Thomas joined Queens Park Rangers in the summer after scoring 12 goals in 48 games for Bristol City last season as part of their promotion from League One to the Championship, but did not enjoy as much success in London, scoring five times in 15 appearances.
MK Dons currently lie close to the relegation places in the Championship, just one point above the drop zone.
February 6, 2016
Scunthorpe United v Rovers
Doncaster Rovers could welcome back a number of players who have been missing in recent games when they face Scunthorpe United at Glanford Park this afternoon.
Defender Andy Butler has been declared fit and should face his former club, while Cameron Stewart could make a surprisingly quick return to action after successfully coming through a Development Xi game on Wednesday.
Thorsten Stuckmann has returned to training, but is not expected to be risked, with on-loan keeper Chris Neal likely to keep his place this afternoon. Also likely to miss out today is midfielder Conor Grant, who is still suffering from a rib injury, with boss Darren Ferguson eyeing his return for the Sheffield United game.
Nathan Tyson is also in with a chance of returning to action after missing recent games with a hamstring injury.
Scunthorpe United are expected to be unchanged after winning at Coventry City last weekend, although striker Dominic Vose will be added to the squad after joining on 'transfer deadline day'. They will, however, be without Dutchman Kevin van Veen, who has left the club to move back to his homeland to join Cambuur on loan.
Scunthorpe are without a manager at the moment after sacking Mark Robins a fortnight ago, with caretaker managers Nick Daws and Andy Dawson continuing their spell in charge, with the Iron winning both of their games under the temporary management.
February 6, 2016
Ferguson warns of physical battle
Rovers boss Darren Ferguson has warned his players that they should expect a physical battle this afternoon after looking at the make-up of the Scunthorpe United squad.
Ferguson is also wary that the Iron have improved their fortunes under Nick Daws and Andy Dawson, and Rovers will have to be on their guard today.
Ferguson said: "They're an experienced team and have got some quality up front. They're big and physical and we're going to have handle that side of the game. They've got quite a large squad and are very experienced in the middle of the pitch. When you look at the squad you'd probably think they should be higher up than what they are but they're not for whatever reason. The pitch isn't great, so it could be scrappy. I'm going to have to make sure I've got a lot of energy in the team – that's something that's really on my mind. But I'm looking forward to it. You've got to embrace the challenge because it's not always going to go well and you're not always going to win games."
February 6, 2016
Ferguson handed touchline ban
Rovers manager Darren Ferguson will be watching this afternoon's game from the stands at Glanford Park instead of being in the Rovers dugout after being handed a one-game touchline ban by the FA.
The ban was announced yesterday, and comes after being charged with misconduct for "using abusive and/or insulting words towards a match official" after last week's home defeat to Port Vale. Ferguson has also been fined £1,000.
February 6, 2016
Today's match officials
The match officials appointed by the Football League for this afternoon's away game at Scunthorpe United are:
Referee: Mark Haywood
Assistant referees: Nick Greenhalgh and Simon Mather
Fourth official: James Mainwaring
February 6, 2016
Tamas leaves Cardiff
Former Doncaster Rovers defender Gabriel Tamas has left Cardiff City, as expected, after the player and club agreed to terminate his contract with immediate effect.
32 year old Tamas has only made one appearance for Cardiff this season - an FA Cup defeat to Shrewsbury Town in January - and only joined the Welsh club last summer.
February 5, 2016
Injury situation improves
Boss Darren Ferguson has revealed that the injury situation at the club is easing, with a number of players set to return against Scunthorpe United this weekend.
Defender Andy Butler has trained this week and has been passed fit to play against his former club after recovering from a groin injury.
Cameron Stewart played an hour of the Development XI's game against Scunthorpe on Wednesday and could be set for a recall.
Nathan Tyson is a little more of a doubt, but is due to resume full training today, and could be in with a chance of being included, although a place on the bench is the more likely option.
Goalkeeper Thorsten Stuckmann has resumed training ahead of schedule after suffering a shoulder injury ten days ago, but Ferguson is unlikely to risk him.
Ferguson told the Doncaster Star: "We’re getting some back. It’s important, very important. We need the bodies back."
He added: "I think Thorsten is going to be fit. He’s a surprise. He trained today and he’s flying around everywhere so I think he’ll be okay. We might need to get a bit more training into him, even though he’s not missed that much. And with the injury being his shoulder we’ve got to be really careful so whether I risk him or not, I don’t know yet. Probably not."
However, on loan midfielder Conor Grant is unlikely to be risked, despite his rib injury not being as serious as originally feared.
Ferguson revealed: "Conor won’t be long term. We’re hopeful he’ll be fit for Sheffield United next week if not Saturday. There’s no point in taking risks on an injury like that because if you get another knock on it you could be out for another two or three weeks."
February 5, 2016
Keeping the season alive
Even though Rovers are now in 16th place in League One after Tuesday's defeat against Walsall, boss Darren Ferguson is keen to keep the season alive by picking up points to keep in touch with the play-off places, even if it starts to become a little more unlikely.
He said to the Doncaster Free Press: "It’s important we don’t let the season peter out. That’s really, really key. We’ve had a meeting about that. I’m not one for writing any season off. These next few games are vitally important to our season and we want to finish as high up as we can and get as many points as we can."
"We’ve got to start on Saturday. After losing a couple on the bounce it’s a big game. We want to make sure it’s a positive result and then we can maybe start on another run again. When you lose and draw games confidence can be an issue, but I think we’ve shown before when we get that win the confidence can go the other way."
"We’ve got to make sure we eradicate these lapses in concentration. Our away form is good. We’ve got to take that into the game.”
February 5, 2016
New date for Youth team game
Notts County have confirmed that their recently postponed youth team game against Doncaster Rovers has now been rearranged for Saturday, 26th March at Eagle Valley with a 11am kick-off.
After winning on Saturday, Grimsby Town are now top of the Youth Alliance League.
February 5, 2016
Voting results v Walsall
We received votes for seven different players as the "Man of the Match" for Tuesday's home game against Walsall, for which we thank all contributors. Defender Luke McCullough ended up as the clear winner, gaining just over one vote in each three cast.
The players receiving most votes were:
1 Luke McCullough (34.62%)
2 Liam Mandeville (19.23%)
3 Harry Middleton (18.52%)
Thank you to everyone who voted. The next poll will open after the weekend game against Scunthorpe United.
February 5, 2016
Meite on trials at Shrews
Ex-Rovers defender Abdoublaye Meite is on trials at Shrewsbury Town, with the Shrews looking to replace Anthony Gerrard.
The 35 year old Ivory Coast international is a free agent after leaving Ross County last May, but has not played a competitive game since leaving Greek club Crete in December 2014.
He has represented his country on 48 occasions, and turned out in 16 games for Rovers in the Championship.
February 4, 2016
Scunthorpe United 2 Rovers Development XI 2
Doncaster Rovers had to come back from two goals down to snatch a draw in the latest Final Third Development League game at Scunthorpe yesterday.
Rovers went behind in the 17th minute when Scunthorpe fired a low shot into the penalty area and, after a goalmouth scramble, Leslie Sackey tapped the ball home.
Despite pressure from the home side, it took until the 50th minute for them to get a second goal, with James Dean-Atkinson cracking a great curling shot in from 25 yards.
Cameron Stewart continued his return to fitness by playing an hour of the game, and five minutes before he was replaced, he had Rovers' best scoring chance as his curling free kick went just wide.
However, on the hour mark, Rovers halved the deficit with their first goal of the afternoon, with Jordan Linley heading home from a Cameron Stewart cross, with the goal proving a tonic to the Rovers players.
The equaliser finally arrived in the 83rd minute, with Lloyd Henderson finding space in the Scunthorpe penalty area before firing home.
Scunthorpe United: Parker, Shilling, Sithole, Dean-Atkinson, Cleminshaw, Butroid, Adelakun, Hornshaw (Train, 72), Sackey (Ablett, 83), Dyche, Burdett.
Substitutes not used: Kelsey.
Doncaster Rovers: Marosi, Mbuti, Williamson, Fielding, Stewart (Parkin, 62), Carberry, Davies, Linley, Whitehouse, Longbottom, Wanless (Henderson, 72).
Substitutes not used: Greasley, Jones.
February 4, 2016
Youth Team 1 Bradford City 1
The Rovers youth team were denied a second goal by some superb saves by the Bradford goalkeeper in the closing minutes of Saturday's youth team game at Cantley Park.
Rovers started the game brightly as they hoped to gain revenge for conceding four goals in the game at Bradford earlier in the season. but their hopes were hit after conceding a 26th minute penalty following a mix-up between goalkeeper Louis Jones and Matthew Parkin. That spot kick was duly dispatched into the top right corner of the net to put the visitors 1-0 up.
Rovers should have levelled matters in the 59th minute when Carberry drilled the ball across the goalmouth, but Ben Greasley just could not get that final touch to score.
The Rovers pressure paid off five minutes later with a long punt down field by Jones finding Longbottom, who raced through to chip the Bradford goalkeeper to equalise. Pressure from Rovers in the closing minutes saw Hallwood pull off a superb save to deny Henderson, so Rovers had to settle for a point.
Doncaster Rovers: Jones, Greasley, Carberry, Williamson, Mbuti, Fielding, Parkin, Linley (C), Longbottom, Wanless (Henderson 55’), Walker.
Substitutes not used: Keegan, Morris, James, Fletcher.
Bradford City: Hallwood, Lazenby (Powell 72’), Windle, Laird, Omulokun, Boateng, Moilanen, Mellor (C), Payne, Cissa, Sunderland (Taglione 60’).
Substitutes not used: Wright
February 4, 2016
MacKenzie joins County on loan
Rovers defender Gary MacKenzie has joined Notts County on loan, with boss Darren Ferguson stressing that the move was to give MacKenzie some match sharpness after returning from injury recently.
MacKenzie made his return at Fleetwood Town ten days ago, but looked short of match fitness, but Ferguson was quick to point out that Gary still features in his plans for the rest of the season.
Ferguson told the Doncaster Free Press: "Gary has gone for a month to get games. He’s still in my plans. He was rusty at Fleetwood so he needs games. I had a good chat with the boy about it and he was very good, he understood. Hopefully he gets five or six games there and that will be it. He’ll be back with us for the last few months of the season."
"We will be looking to bring him back, he’s fully aware of that. It’s not a case of him going for the rest of the season. He’s going to get games so he’s match sharpness is right for the last few months."
The move went through on "transfer deadline day", and even though Ferguson also released Rob Jones on the same day, he still reckons that he has enough defenders, adding: "With Butler fit, and with Luke McCullough, Aaron Taylor Sinclair, Craig Alcock and Mitchell Lund, I’ve got enough numbers."
February 4, 2016
Barry's surprising return to action!
When former Rovers goalkeeper Barry Richardson joined Wycombe Wanderers as a goalkeeping coach, little did he think that he would be making a return to play in a first team game, but that's exactly what happened last weekend. Only eight days after agreeing to combine his coaching role with that of back-up goalkeeper when first choice keeper Matt Ingram was sold to Queens Park Rangers, an injury to Alex Lynch early in Wycombe's game at Plymouth meant that Richardson was called into action.
It marked his first game for more than a decade, with his last game coming back in April 2002 for Doncaster Rovers. Not only that, but he went on to keep a 'clean sheet', with Wycombe winning the game 1-0.
He became the oldest player to play for Wycombe, and also was the first goalkeeper to prevent Plymouth from scoring at home this season.
However, boss Gareth Ainsworth has said that he will not be expecting Richardson to start this weekend's game!
"The game is all about opportunity, and what an opportunity Barry Richardson has had this afternoon," Wycombe boss Ainsworth told BBC Three Counties Radio. He is now the oldest player to play for Wycombe, and not only did he keep a clean sheet but I think he is the first to do so at Plymouth this season. I won't be looking to start him next week though."
February 3, 2016
Rovers 1 Walsall 2
Chances of keeping the dream alive of reaching the play-off places were hit by a third home defeat in the space of four weeks last night, with Walsall taking all three points to move back into second place in League One. Defeat leaves Rovers in 16th place, still 8 adrift of sixth placed Millwall, who have a game in hand.
As expected, Chris Neal made his Rovers debut and had little to do in the first half, which had little to note about it, although he did show signs of nerves as he settled down.
Rovers should have done better on the half hour, with Aaron Taylor-Sinclair failing to keep his volleyed shot down, and moments later Andy Williams could have done better with a shot from a tight angle.
At least Rovers had overcome their recent problem of conceding a goal early on, but they could have gone behind five minutes into the second half, when Paul Downing headed onto the underside of the crossbar from a corner by ex-Rovers loanee Milan Lalkovic. The Saddlers took the lead on 61 minutes as Mantom forced his way through from midfield to fire home from just outside the penalty area.
It got even worse just four minutes later when Walsall doubled their lead after a short corner, with Romaine Sawyers' cross only half-cleared, with Taylor cracking the ball home from close range.
Rovers got a goal back ten minutes from time when Liam Mandeville hit a superb shot from just outside the area, but despite late pressure that saw Mandeville having another shot saved, the visitors held on to take all the points and leave Rovers with a huge challenge if they are to achieve promotion this season.
February 3, 2016
What the managers said
A disappointed Darren Ferguson answered questions after last night's home defeat to Walsall, with criticisms heard at recent games again coming to the fore.
He said after the game: "We are giving games we shouldn’t be losing away, I don’t think my goalkeeper has had too much to do at all. We are giving too many sloppy goals away. Walsall have not had to work for either goal, it was too easy for them. With the opportunities we had in the first half, we needed to take them. We were the better team in the first half and we came back late in the game. But we are conceding too many sloppy goals. It is a feeling of deja vu and it has to stop. We have to get back to the consistency we were showing when we had real momentum about us."
Ferguson did have praise for youngster Liam Mandeville, who came on as a substitute and again caught the eye, scoring the Rovers goal. He commented: "He did well when he came on, he’s done that a couple of times now. With kids, you get no fear and he wanted the ball. Middleton made a couple of mistakes, but at least he was brave."
Walsall boss Sean O'Driscoll praised his side for a disciplined performance that saw them continue their challenge for automatic promotion. He told the Express & Star: "I thought we were organised and disciplined – the players showed a real determination."
He added: "I said at half time to them if we can make Doncaster’s back four defend, the pitch is as lively as ever. It’s a difficult pitch to play silky football on. I thought we did that really well and got the ball into the box pretty quickly when we got it wide. We were comfortable at 0-0 and even more comfortable at 2-0 but credit to them for getting back into it and putting us under pressure. I thought we did that really well, we got the ball wide, we got the ball into the box, which we didn’t do in the first half."
February 3, 2016
Ferguson examines reasons for spate of injuries
Boss Darren Ferguson has held an enquiry at the training ground to try and find out why they have suffered so many injuries over the last few weeks, which look like costing Rovers dearly in their ambition of reaching the play-offs.
But in the end, it looks like most of the reason comes down to bad luck, with Ferguson commenting: "It’s just the way it goes. You need a bit of luck with injuries. It’s just bizarre that we got four in one game including three muscle injuries which is not ideal."
The 'inquest' did reveal that there is a connection between Nathan Tyson's hamstring injury and a recent knock to his jaw, with the Rovers boss explaining: "Nathan took a really bad knock to his jaw. People may not know the alignment of the jaw really affects the thigh. The medical staff told me that. We were looking for answers but sometimes there isn’t anything. There was nothing different on the day. The warm-up was normal. It was just unusual for it to happen."
February 3, 2016
No buses from Scunthorpe town centre
Scunthorpe United have informed Rovers that, unlike in previous seasons, there will be no free buses from Scunthorpe town centre and the railway station to Glanford Park on Saturday. Supporters are asked to ensure they make alternative arrangements for getting to the ground if they are travelling by rail.
A Humberside Police statement said: "A management decision has been made by the Police, for this seasons home fixture with Doncaster Rovers on the 6th of February, there will be no free buses to and from the town centre."
February 3, 2016
McCombe returns to the Imps
Lincoln City have announced that they have signed former Doncaster Rovers defender Jamie McCombe on a contract that will run until the end of the 2016/17 season.
McCombe left Stevenage Borough last Thursday 'by mutual consent' after making 16 appearances for them this season.
It marks Jamie's second spell at Sincil Bank, having joined the first time in 2004, staying for two years before moving south to join Bristol City in 2006. He was the "Player of the Season" at Lincoln in the 2004/05 season.
February 2, 2016
Rovers v Walsall
Doncaster Rovers will give on-loan goalkeeper Chris Neal his debut this evening when Walsall will be the visitors to the Keepmoat Stadium. Walsall are, of course, managed by ex-Rovers boss Sean O'Driscoll, who moved to the Bescot Stadium recently, with the Saddlers now lying in third place in the League One table.
The injured quartet of Andy Butler (groin), Cameron Stewart (back), Harry Middleton (hamstring) and Nathan Tyson (hamstring) are all likely to miss out again, with on-loan midfielder Eddy Lecygne set to make another appearance, with Rovers looking to win their first game in five games. Chris Neal makes his Rovers debut owing to the injury of Thorsten Stuckmann, who has a badly bruised shoulder, and is set to miss the next couple of games, with the Sheffield United game pencilled in as potentially his return match.
Walsall could give a debut to midfielder Bryn Morris, who has joined on loan from Middlesbrough, with the on loan pairing of Tom Bradshaw and Romaine Sawyers expected to lead the attack.
They will be missing Isiaiah Osbourne, who has been sidelined with a long-term knee injury suffered during the summer.
February 2, 2016
Neal set for debut
Boss Darren Ferguson has virtually confirmed that new loan keeper Chris Neal will make his Rovers debut this evening after revealing that Thorsten Stuckmann will be missing for at least the next two matches.
He told DROS: "Thorsten’s got a badly bruised shoulder so he won’t have a chance of Tuesday or Saturday so you’re probably looking at – best case scenario – him being back for the Sheffield United game but we’ve brought in Chris (Neal) anyway so there’s no such panic there."
"He’s got good experience; a couple of promotions on his CV which I think is always good. He’s got a good mentality so he’ll come in and bring some competition. We have young Marko (Marosi) as well, it was whether to go with him or get a bit more experience in. I always felt that I needed to bring one in anyway as the young lad below Marko is too young. Chris has got that experience; he’s played a lot of games so we won’t have to worry about that. There’s a good chance (of him playing against Walsall), it’s either him or Marko who did really well having watched the game back against Port Vale. Obviously with the big man out, we’ll go with one of those two."
February 2, 2016
Tonight's match officials
The match officials appointed by the Football League for this evening's home game against Walsall are:
Referee: Ben Toner
Assistant referees: Wayne Grunnill and David Storrie
Fourth official: Ricky Wootton
February 2, 2016
Fergie hopes break will be bonus
Rovers manager Darren Ferguson is hoping that having a week since their last game will give them a benefit for this evening's game against Walsall, which was originally due to be played on Saturday, but was put back due to Walsall's FA Cup game.
He told the Doncaster Star on Monday: "I the bit of a break came at the right time in terms of getting certain information into the players. It was about certain things that have happened through the course of the season. It wasn’t too far from what we would normally do. We gave them clear stats and it was a time we used to reflect on certain things."
"We’ve just got to concentrate on getting back to winning ways and get some momentum going. Because although the last two results weren’t great, before then the place was really positive. We’ve got to make sure we keep that as much as possible. The timing of the break was just about right. We have to make sure, if we can, to take advantage of that as well."
February 2, 2016
Voting results v Port Vale
Once again, may we apologise for the lengthy delay in the publication of the results of the "Man of the Match" voting for last Tuesday's home game against Port Vale. Thankfully we managed to recover all of the votes placed, so we can now announce the results.
Of the six players to receive nominations, Cedric Evina again impressed, coming comfortably ahead of defender Luke McCullough.
The players to receive most votes were:
1 Cedric Evina (34.62%)
2 Luke McCullough (23.07%)
3 Craig Alcock (19.23%)
4 Lynden Gooch (15.38%)
Thank you to everyone who took the time to vote, and thank you for being patient in waiting for the results. Hopefully the 'technical issues' are now resolved and the daily updates will start to appear on time soon.
February 1, 2016
Rovers sign Neal on loan
Doncaster Rovers have signed Port Vale goalkeeper Chris Neal on loan to cover for the absence of the injured Thorsten Stuckmann, who injured his shoulder in last week's home defeat - by Port Vale.
Neal has been out of favour at Vale Park this season after losing his place to Jak Alnwick, but has plenty of experience, with 133 games for Vale under his belt.
Rovers have not yet confirmed the extent of Stuckmann's injury after he went for an X-ray after Tuesday's game, but Neal's signing suggests that the giant German will not be fit to play at least in tomorrow's game against Walsall.
Neal was part of Vale's side to win promotion from League Two in 2013, and won promotion with Shrewsbury Town in 2012.
February 1, 2016
Jones leaves Rovers
Doncaster Rovers have announced that skipper Rob Jones has left the club, with player and club mutually agreeing to terminate his contract with immediate effect.
As well as the termination of his playing contract, Jones has also ceased to be the coach of the Development XI.
He has only just resumed training after another injury, and also missed much of the 2013/14 season due to injury. He was a key part of the Rovers side to win promotion after joining from Sheffield Wednesday in the summer of 2012, and also stepped in to be caretaker manager after Paul Dickov was sacked earlier this season, but only won one of his six games in charge.
While the timing may seem strange, we suspect with him being released today will make him a free agent, meaning that he can sign for a new club in due course, even though it will be outside the regular 'transfer window'.
We would like to thank Rob for his contribution to the Rovers cause over the last four years, and wish him all the best for his future career, wherever it may be.
February 1, 2016
Ferguson - top five out of reach
Rovers boss Darren Ferguson concedes that the top five in League One are now out of reach for this season, with Rovers twelve points adrift of fifth placed Coventry City. Rovers have 18 games to play - so they have to win four games, and Coventry lose those four, and then at least match the Sky Blues for the rest of the results (although Rovers do have a game in hand). A tough challenge, which Ferguson rates as rather unrealistic.
Sixth placed Millwall are eight points ahead of Rovers, and eight away from sixth placed Millwall, which is a little more possible.
Ferguson told the Doncaster Free Press: "Ourselves, looking at it realistically, we’re going to have to go some to get top six. The top five are out of reach. The other teams above us wouldn’t be saying that but they are for us. It might change in terms of which order they finish in but I can’t see it changing too much."
But Rovers have to win more consistently if they are to continue the promotion dream, something that may not happen until a number of the injured players are fit again.
He added: "Consistency is the key if we’re going to have a chance. You never know. You can go on another run, win four games on the bounce and we’d be having a different conversation. This is very much a league that never really changes. It’s very close. I think it’ll be like that probably until April. But I do think the top five has taken shape."
February 1, 2016
Goals review
Two former Doncaster Rovers combined to score for Ross County yesterday in their Scottish League Cup semi-final against Celtic. After the blow of going a goal behind in the first minute, County were given a lifeline in the 15th minute when they were given a penalty, which also resulted in a Celtic player being sent off. Ex-Rover Martin Woods sent the goalkeeper the wrong way from the spot kick to level things, and then three minutes after half time, Paul Quinn headed home from a corner to put the underdogs in front. The game finished 3-1 to Ross County.
Back down into England, ex-Rovers striker Chris Beardsley scored the only goal of the game for Mansfield Town in their away game at Crawley Town in League Two.
In the Evo-Stik League First Division (South), Jordan Ball scored Gresley's second goal in their 2-1 home win over Goole AFC, while in the same division, Oscar Radford scored the first goal and the last goal for Shaw Lane Aquaforce as they hammered Romulus 5-1 away from home.
Finally in the Northern Counties East Premier Division, Spencer Lund scored for Garforth Town in their home game against Retford United, but Retford went on to win 4-1.