Doncaster Rovers: ATS is A-OK for Ferguson

Aaron Taylor-Sinclair

Aaron Taylor-Sinclair

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Darren Ferguson has praised defender Aaron Taylor-Sinclair for adapting to life playing in a back three.

Taylor-Sinclair arrived at Doncaster Rovers as a full back and after enduring a mixed few months has flourished in new boss Ferguson’s favoured 3-5-2 system.

The 24-year-old starred in Rovers’ 2-0 win at Blackpool last weekend, was named in the Football League’s team of the week and is set to line up in a back three once again against Rochdale this afternoon.

Ferguson says he had no hesitation in altering his fellow Scot’s defensive role.

“Ideally what I look for is someone who is in between a full back and a centre half, which is exactly what Aaron is,” he said. “He gives you balance on the left.

“They need to be comfortable on the ball, have decent pace and probably the most important thing is being able to defend the wider areas as well.

“All of which Aaron has got, and so has Mitchell Lund on the other side.

“They’re going to be out wide some of the game.

“Looking at Aaron, he ticked all the boxes.

“I think he’s done really well. He’s got the balance, the height, the pace, the left foot.

“It’s important to have that pace beside the central one because when you play three centre halves, they can get stretched.”

Rovers are unbeaten since switching to 3-5-2 three games ago and have not conceded a goal in that run.

It is a system Ferguson favoured for long periods during his time in charge of Peterborough United and he is pleased with how Rovers have fared so far in implementing it.

He said: “The extra centre half has got to be the spare man in midfield, especially when we want to get control of the ball and dominate possession.

“I think you’ve seen that against Blackpool, where the centre half sits in to overload the midfield.

“It gives the oppostion problems because if they lose the ball, you’ve got a midfielder spare.

“They’ve responded really well to it.”

Craig Alcock looks set to replace Lund in the right-sided centre half role after the youngster injured his shoulder at Blackpool.