Matty Blair reveals why he thinks Doncaster Rovers have impressive defensive record

It's not like a Darren Ferguson team to be conservative.

Friday, 19th January 2018, 5:00 am
Matty Blair

But attack-minded right back Matty Blair says an element of exactly that may be the key to Doncaster Rovers’ impressive defensive record.

Rovers, who visit surprise high flyers Shrewsbury Town tomorrow on the back of a six-game unbeaten run in League One, currently boast the fifth best defensive record in the division.

They have also kept three clean sheets in their last five league games and have not conceded more than one goal in a game since their 3-0 defeat at Wigan in late November.

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Blair feels that promotion has resulted in him and his teammates being more ‘switched on’ defensively.

“We work hard on defensive units and offensive units as well,” he said.

“We take pride in keeping clean sheets and obviously we want to score lots of goals as well.

“Maybe last season, because we knew we were the best team in the league and we knew we could out-score teams, we probably neglected our defensive duties a little bit more, knowing that offensively we were the far greater team.

“Whereas this season we’re coming up against more talented offenses and individuals, so maybe we’re a little more structured and cautious about things - like me playing at right back, flying forward and leaving a space in the right hand channel or vice versa with Niall Mason on the left.

“We’ve probably tightened up a little more knowing we have to because we’re coming up against better quality opposition.”

Blair looks set to continue at right back at the New Meadow this weekend.

He said: “It’s good. Obviously I played there quite a bit last season and I’m still learning the position, trying to work out the timings of the role.

“I’ve got better defensively. There’s still a lot things I need to improve on but I feel I’m getting better game by game.”

Rovers have no fresh injury concerns.