Doncaster Rovers: John Buckley gives his verdict on who should replace injured Jordan Houghton in midfield

Harry Middleton
Harry Middleton

There is no getting away from the fact that the injury to Jordan Houghton is a shocking loss.

He has been a massive part of what Rovers have done this season, he made that midfield holding position his own and so much of our play goes through him.

I think he made one mistake all season - when he gave the ball away on halfway against Portsmouth and they scored.

So it’s understandable why the players might be feeling a bit down this week.

Jordan was clearly very well thought of. He had an important role in the team and went about it in a very diligent fashion. He kept the ball, kept things simple and constantly tidied things up.

Fingers crossed the lad makes a full recovery. He’ll be missed. But the reality is that injuries like this are part and parcel of the game. It’s why you have a squad - and I think we have someone on the bench that can step up and do the job.

Harry Middleton is very capable of slotting into that role. In fact, I think it’s his best position.

Harry’s not a kid any more and I know he’s someone who has the got the respect of his teammates. The boy can play and, like I say, I think it suits him to sit a bit deeper and get on the ball.

It’s a big decision for Darren Ferguson but at least he is not short of options.

Mathieu Baudry would give you a bit more physical presence in there but my feeling is that Ferguson would rather partner him and Andy Butler at the back, with Craig Alcock at right back.

And Niall Mason has shown that he wherever you play him, he rarely lets you down.

He might even change the system slightly and play two deep-lying midfielders with James Coppinger in front of them. It’ll be interesting to see which way he goes.

Whoever gets the nod, I’m still confident we have more than enough to beat Accrington this weekend and also get over the finish line.

Charity bet: Rovers to beat Accrington Stanley and both teams to score