Doncaster Rovers: Darren Ferguson explains his switch to 3-5-2 and biggest selection posers for Posh stalemate

Darren Ferguson
Darren Ferguson

Adding an element of aggression was part of the reason why Darren Ferguson switched to three at the back against Peterborough United.

The tactical switch came on the back of a timid display at AFC Wimbledon and was also designed to stifle Posh star man Marcus Maddison.

Niall Mason moved from right back to central midfield and formed a useful partnership with Ben Whiteman, who later combined with Jordan Houghton to good effect.

Tommy Rowe and Matty Blair reverted to wing back positions.

“I felt we were playing against a team with real confidence and I didn’t want give them too much respect and I didn’t want to make it too easy when they had possession,” explained Ferguson.

“So I matched them up and the key for me was the two central midfield players against [Marcus] Maddison in there. Marcus will say himself his strengths are on the ball as opposed to off it.

“We felt if we dominated the ball in there, like we did in the first 20 minutes, we would cause them real problems.

“I think the key area was the middle of the pitch. I wanted three at the back up against their two quick strikers and I wanted my wing backs to play against there’s.

“I wanted to make sure we were quite aggressive and I felt we could exploit certain things but it was quite cagey in the end.”

Ferguson admitted he had a few selection posers throughout the team.

“I had some difficult decisions,” he said.

“There was Toffolo, Houghton and who I started up front - those were the ones I felt were the tough ones.

“I decided to go with Tommy [Rowe] because I wanted him to play as wing back against their wing back.

“I decided on Mason and Whiteman [in midfield] because I just wanted to make sure Houghton got some time on the pitch. I knew he wouldn’t be able to play ninety so I felt he may have an impact coming off the bench.

“The front two [Marquis and May], I gave them the benefit of the doubt after last week.”