Keep it quiet, but Doncaster Rovers are ready for League One

Darren Ferguson steadfastly refuses to be drawn on what may come if and when Doncaster Rovers win promotion.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 12th February 2017, 11:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th February 2017, 11:42 am
Darren Ferguson
Darren Ferguson

Few could blame the Rovers boss - nothing is won yet of course and engaging in talk of League One would send out entirely the wrong message to divisional rivals.

But it would be foolish to believe he had not given it much thought nor begun formulating tentative plans for at least the summer months.

Tommy Rowe

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And he revealed as much at the club’s ‘Meet The Owners’ event last week when asked if plans were being made.

What Ferguson had to say suggested planning for League One began last summer, coming hand in hand with preparation for this season in League Two.

“League One is clearly a harder league to get out of,” he said.

“On saying that, I feel that the squad we’ve got now in terms of ability and mentality, I certainly don’t feel we’ll be making as many changes as we did last summer.

Tommy Rowe

“That was the time to make the change, and the recruitment we did very early and it was very good.

“We brought in players we feel could play in League Two and League One.

“What we all agreed, and the board really backed me on, was even then I was looking at players meaning we would make seven or eight changes last summer and we wouldn’t have to this.

“There’s no consistency if you have to make that number of changes each year.

“If you look at the squad, I can reel them off - Tommy Rowe was a real marquee signing, Mathieu Baudry can play in League One comfortably, John Marquis, Matty Blair, we feel can cope with the level.”

Offering a little more on his tentative considerations for life in the division above, Ferguson suggested Rovers would not be totally quiet in the transfer market in the summer.

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to say if we get promoted we’ll have the same squad,” he said.

“We need to improve on the field.

“There are areas I feel we can improve and we’ll sit down and hope we can get the players in to improve that.

“We’re always looking to improve. There has to be improvement next season from the players, from everyone, to get to where we want to go.”

And in that is the suggestion this summer could be where the initial foundations for life in the Championship could be laid.

Rovers still have plenty to do to secure the first step towards a return to English football’s second tier.

But results at the weekend largely went their way, despite them being held to a goalless draw at bottom side Newport County on Friday night.

They started the latest round of fixtures 14 points clear of fourth spot and finished with the same cushion due to Exeter City’s defeat to Devon rivals Plymouth Argyle, while Luton Town moved into fourth with a win over Crawley Town.Plymouth cut Rovers’ lead at the top of League Two to three points, with the Pilgrims still holding a game in hand.

Rovers face back-to-back games against fellow promotion-chasers this week, with a trip to Carlisle United tomorrow followed by a home clash with Luton at the weekend.