Doncaster Rovers: Barnet ‘could be tougher game than Portsmouth’, warns Ferguson

Darren Ferguson
Darren Ferguson
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Darren Ferguson has warned that today’s trip to Barnet could be an even stiffer test than the one his team passed with flying colours against Portsmouth.

The Bees, now under the stewardship of caretaker boss Rossi Eames following Martin Allen’s defection to Eastleigh, are up to seventh in League Two following six wins from eight.

Sam Muggleton’s extraordinary throw-ins gave Rovers a tough time at the Keepmoat Stadium in October before Andy Williams netted a dramatic last-gasp winner.

And while Muggleton is expected to be on the bench today, Ferguson says the task facing his side at The Hive will be no less difficult.

“They’re a very good team,” said Ferguson.

“This’ll be as tough a game as you can get and in many ways perhaps a tougher game than the Portsmouth one.

“They’re a team in form and they’re a team with real pace.

“They’re a slightly different team to the one we played here, in terms of playing more football.

“And they’ve got [John] Akinde who is one of the best at this level in terms of what he does. His goalscoring record is right up there. And they’ve got three players behind him with loads of pace.

“There’s certain things we need to do very well to make sure we get the right result, one being controlling the game in terms of possession of the ball.

“I don’t want it to be similar to the last couple of away games which have been real battles and fights. If it is, we’ll deal with it. But I want us to be better on the ball.”

Rovers go into today’s game four points clear at the top of the table and ten clear of fourth-placed Pompey - but Ferguson insists his side must improve in order to secure promotion.

He said: “After 25 games we’ve managed to be the most consistent team which means nothing. It’s the next 21 we have to be the most consistent.

“If we are, the end result will take care of itself.

“For me as manager the message to the players is that we have to get better.

“To stay at the level we’re at I think we have to improve in certain areas.

“I do still think we need to keep more clean sheets and we need to control games better. I don’t think we’ve done that well enough at times.”