Preview: Fleetwood Town v Doncaster Rovers - Resilient streak will be tested in tough double-header

Despite buckling right at the death, Doncaster Rovers unquestionably showed a resilient streak in the derby draw with Rotherham United.

Friday, 17th November 2017, 11:02 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 11:05 am
Jordan Houghton was back to his best in the draw with rivals Rotherham United.

And they will have to show similar qualities this week to get anything out of a double bill that is as tough as they come in League One.

Fleetwood Town, where Rovers go on Saturday, have made their Highbury Stadium into something of a fortress.

And then on Tuesday night it is a trip to the team most people - including Darren Ferguson - rate as the best in the division, Wigan Athletic.

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For Rovers to maintain the momentum garnered by just two defeats in their last nine games in all competitions, they will have to display plenty more grit and character.

“Away from home you’ve always got to show that resilience,” Ferguson told the Free Press this week.

“Fleetwood’s always a hard place to go.

“Up to now they’ve been playing three at the back themselves. They have changed within games.

“They’ve got quite a young squad, full of energy and good pace up front. So again it’s a different challenge for us this weekend.

“In terms of the strikers they’ve got it’s different to what we faced in Kieffer Moore.

“And then three days later we’ve got a very tough game against who I think are the best team in the league in Wigan,” he added.

“They’ve got strength in depth all over the pitch, particularly the attacking areas.

“Of course, we’ve got Fleetwood to deal with first and we want to come away with a win, and then go to Wigan and get some sort of result.”

Despite Moore’s last gasp leveller for the Millers, Ferguson is adamant Rovers go into this weekend’s game full confidence.

A growing sense of resilience, he says, is down to belief in the current 3-4-3 system.

“I think we have shown that grit throughout season,” he said. “Perhaps in the last few weeks we’ve grown in confidence.

“They’ve certainly grown in confidence with the formation, I think we’ve looked a lot more solid with it, I think that’s helped.

“We have made them aware they need to be a bit tougher - and that’s the younger boys too, not just the older ones.

“I’ve seen signs of that definitely. Kongolo and Houghton were very good last weekend.”


Darren Ferguson is likely to name an unchanged line-up from the one that started against Rotherham.

Niall Mason has recovered from the hamstring strain which kept him out of the derby.

Probable (3-4-3): Lawlor; Wright, Butler, Baudry; Blair, Houghton, Kongolo, Toffolo; Rowe, Coppinger, Marquis.


Fleetwood 0 Rovers 0, January 23, 2016

These two sides have only met four times. Both sides have won one.


Uwe Rosler, manager of Brentford on that fateful day at Griffin Park in 2013, was appointed Fleetwood boss in July 2016.

They finished fourth in League One last season before losing to Bradford City in the play-off semi-finals.


Ten years ago Fleetwood were playing in the Northern Premier League.

In 2012, helped by the goals of Jamie Vardy, they secured promotion to the Football League.


Fleetwood: LWDWWL

Rovers: WLWDWD


Fleetwood 6/4 Draw 5/2 Rovers 13/8