Doncaster Rovers: Five burning issues for Darren Ferguson ahead of Wycombe Wanderers clash

Sports writer Paul Goodwin looks at five burning issues Darren Ferguson must consider as Doncaster Rovers look to bounce back from the defeat at Blackpool at home to Wycombe Wanderers tomorrow:

Friday, 28th October 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Monday, 31st October 2016, 8:52 am
Darren Ferguson

Formation, formation, formation

After shipping four goals at Blackpool, Rovers must shut the back door - which could see the attacking 3-4-3 system deployed at Bloomfield Road ditched for a flat back four.

One dilemma for Ferguson is that centre halves Andy Butler, Mathieu Baudry and Joe Wright would probably all feature on a list of his best 11 players - but operating with a back three just does not seem to be working.

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One solution might to be reinstate the Butler and Wright partnership, and play Baudry in a defensive midfield role alongside Jordan Houghton.


At League Two level you probably have to expect that individual mistakes and lapses in concentration will happen.

But Ferguson has to find a way of reducing the number of basic defensive errors that are leading to goals.

Blackpool’s first two goals - caused by Baudry being out of position and Cedric Evina not dealing with a cross - were the result of some rank-bad defending.

Evina, who continues to be something of a defensive liability, could well pay the price this weekend. Tyler Garratt may get an opportunity at left back.


Rovers produced their best performance of the season at Morecambe where they gained complete control of the game in midfield and made the Shrimps chase shadows.

But following an excellent first half performance against Barnet, Rovers lacked control after the break against the Bees, against a Colchester team that pressed hard and again at Blackpool, despite going ahead in the first minute.

Going 3-4-3 looked like an attempt by Ferguson to regain control by adding Harry Middleton to the engine room and attempting to get more bodies forward.

Coping without Andy Williams

Andy Williams and John Marquis had a good thing going on, not just in terms of goals but also in the way they pressed from the front, and the absence of the former is proving to be a problem.

Youngster Liam Mandeville, who was dropped at Blackpool and then failed to make an impact from the bench, appears to be skating on thin ice.

Ferguson might consider playing James Coppinger just off Marquis and restoring Tommy Rowe to the tip of the midfield diamond, a position he excelled in at the end of last season.

On the spot

After Rowe scored one and missed one at Blackpool, Rovers have now missed four of the six penalties they have been awarded this term, which is criminal.

Should Rowe now step aside or is it time for Ferguson just to stand by his man?

Step forward Coppinger perhaps?