Paul Goodwin: Why Fergie will want Rovers to strike first at Fleetwood

Darren Ferguson was not a happy man after last weekend's draw with Gillingham.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 23rd January 2016, 9:53 am
Updated Saturday, 23rd January 2016, 9:54 am
Andy Williams scores to complete Rovers' most recent comeback, against Gillingham.
Andy Williams scores to complete Rovers' most recent comeback, against Gillingham.

Despite seeing his side score twice in the last 15 minutes, he regarded the 2-2 draw as two points dropped rather than one gained.

That tells you a lot about the high standards that the Scot both expects and is attempting to ingrain within Rovers’ culture. But it also points to a slightly worrying trend that is probably starting to eat away at him slightly.

In six of Rovers’ last nine matches, they have conceded the first goal.

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Their powers of recovery have been good, there’s no doubting that. Stirring comebacks saw them beat Cambridge United and Crewe, while the draws with Coventry and Gillingham would usually go down as decent results.

However, Ferguson is fully aware of his side’s excellent record when they do score first. He unquestionably thinks his team might have had an even better points return over the last month or so by striking the first blow more often.

And he made a point of saying exactly that on Saturday night. Rovers have to find a way of scoring the first goal more regularly if they are to achieve their top six goal.

The key stat is that Rovers have not yet lost a game under Ferguson when they have scored first.

And out of the eight games in which Rovers have scored first under their new boss, they have converted seven of those into wins.

Only league leaders Burton Albion have denied Doncaster all three points after initially falling behind to them.

So come 5pm on Saturday, Fergie will probably be a lot happier if Rovers scored first at Fleetwood - because the chances are if they do that, they will have won the game.