Doncaster Rovers: Show me you want to stay in the team, Ferguson tells fringe men

Liam Mandeville
Liam Mandeville

Darren Ferguson wants to see his fringe men make more of an impact when they get the chance.

The Scot admits he has been disappointed with ‘one or two’ players who have been given an opportunity to impress over recent weeks.

Liam Mandeville, Harry Middleton, Riccardo Calder, Ross Etheridge and Alfie Beestin have all stepped in recently as a result of injuries and a change in formation at Blackpool.

Ferguson is likely to rotate his squad for this weekend’s FA Cup first round trip to Oldham Athletic - with Craig Alcock, Joe Wright, Tyler Garratt and Paul Keegan also in contention to start.

Next Tuesday’s Checkatrade Trophy clash with Port Vale will hand Rovers’ young guns a further chance to impress.

And Ferguson is eager to see a bit more from those players waiting in the wings.

“I’m fully aware that when you’re not in the team and you come in it can take a bit of time,” Ferguson told The Star.

“But the realisation is that we haven’t got time and they need to hit the ground running.

“I’ve been a little bit disappointed with one or two that haven’t come in and gone ‘bang, I really want to [stay in the side]’.

“They need to really show me that they want to stay in that team.

“Because it doesn’t really make any difference to me who plays.

“If people are in form and they’ve got the shirt [they’ll play], I’ve proved that over and over again.

“I wouldn’t say people have got things to prove. I know what they can do. They just need to be consistent in how they do it.”

Meanwhile, Ferguson said his decision to replace Tommy Rowe with Alfie Beestin at the weekend ‘was not a slight on anyone else’.

“Liam’s [Mandeville] played a few games but I just felt something different was needed,” said Rovers’ boss.

“I felt Alfie, with his creativity, would cause them a big problem.

“In the end it got a bit scrappy which probably didn’t suit him.

“I felt it was right for him to be given a chance and certainly he’s one I’ll be considering to start on Saturday.

“It was no slight on anyone else, it was just a case of Alfie not having as much time on the pitch and when he’s played he’s done really well.”

n Tickets for Saturday’s game at Oldham are priced £10 adults, £5 concessions and £1 for under-12s. Cash turnstiles only.

n Rovers’ under 18s crashed out of the FA Youth Cup on Tuesday night at Tranmere Rovers, losing 3-0.