Liam Hoden: Ferguson's frustrations with some Doncaster Rovers supporters are fully justified

Just how big an issue is the discontent in the stands at the Keepmoat?

Friday, 27th April 2018, 6:53 pm
Updated Friday, 27th April 2018, 6:56 pm
Liam Hoden

Certainly, in this last week or so, it is an issue which has fallen into the spotlight.

A pair of disappointing and frustrating results drew shouts of derision, directed towards the manager and players.

Darren Ferguson

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And Darren Ferguson was particularly annoyed about what he heard.

“I’m disappointed with how much frustration there was around the place, I’ve got to be honest,” he said after the draw with Bury. “We’ve been on a good run. It’s our first season back in this league and we need all the support we can get really.”

It was brought up again following Saturday’s defeat to Oxford United, when Ferguson insisted he did not shout at a supporter who had yelled ‘sort it out, Fergie.’

Though he has not emphatically stated it, Ferguson’s frustration is all about context and perspective. It is clear he thinks those who are showing their ire at this point are missing the bigger picture – of where Rovers are on their journey.

Darren Ferguson

I have written before in these pages about the tiresome nature of the #FergieOut brigade who appear whenever Rovers get a poor result. So it’ll be no surprise that I have sympathy with the Rovers boss on this issue.

It has been clear since the first few months of the season that this one was very much going to be a campaign locked in mid-table. And so it has proved.

Rovers have never been in the bottom four, nor have they ever reached the top six. It’s been that sort of season.

What I take the biggest issue with is when people insist Rovers are no better off or no further along than they were when Ferguson arrived.

That is where there is a clear lack of perspective.

True, Rovers are not troubling the play-off positions. And true, they took an almighty step backwards before reaching this point.

But on potential terms, they are head and shoulders above the squad and even club that Ferguson inherited in October 2015.

He has assembled a young group of technically minded players who have spent a season gelling together.

And the changes made at age group level and off the pitch at the club have been for the better.

Is the situation perfect? No. They wouldn’t be locked in mid-table if it was.

But the potential is rich.

Undoubtedly, the pressure will be on next season and the judgement on manager, players and board will be more intense. Rightly so.

Further progression must be shown and that equates to at least a strong push for the play-offs.

But the foundations are in place for that with what Ferguson has built over the last two-and-a-half years.

Have some perspective and give them a chance.

Rovers are in a decent place right now and it could prove to be just the start.