Doncaster Rovers: Five reasons to be cautious ahead of next season

The defeat at Hartlepool provided an unwanted flashback to the previous season.
The defeat at Hartlepool provided an unwanted flashback to the previous season.

Following on from his five reasons to be optimistic, sports writer Paul Goodwin looks at five reasons to be cautious ahead of Doncaster Rovers’ return to League One.

1. Is this squad really made of stern stuff?

Those four straight defeats at the end of the season just raised a few question marks about the mentality in the dressing room.

The manager may be ruthless - but are his players the same?

They’ll need to have a tough jaw in League One and be prepared to take a few knocks along the way.

Worryingly, that performance at Hartlepool was like travelling back in time to the season before.

2. Shortage of numbers

Less so last season, but the depth of the squad has been a constant issue over recent years.

There’s a danger it could hold Rovers back next term.

Bringing in five or six new players initially sounded about right. But that was before the news about Williams, Middleton and Lund.

Six ought to be a minimum now. The squad looks particularly light in midfield.

3. Fergie’s ruthlessness could backfire

If the manager can’t shift the five transfer-listed players, that’s potentially five unhappy players to deal with on a daily basis.

There’s a danger that could spoil the harmony of the squad.

4. Defensive issues

Rovers’ attacking firepower was key to their success in League Two. In League One, where defences will be much tougher to break down, they will have to be far more resolute when it comes to defending.

A shortage of pace at the back is something that needs to be addressed.

5. James Coppinger won’t play forever

When Copps goes off, Rovers have a habit of losing their way.

He will leave some big boots to fill when he eventually calls it a day, but Ferguson already needs to start thinking about the plan without Coppinger.