Darren Moore assesses his squad and reveals why Doncaster Rovers are having to be patient in striker search
How close, or indeed how far, are Doncaster Rovers from having a squad that can compete for a top six finish in League One?
Rovers boss Darren Moore admitted that question was difficult to answer at his pre-match press conference on Thursday.
Yet in his reply, Rovers’ boss went on to answer some of his own questions and, in doing so, provided a little more clarity on his assessment of the squad and the ongoing work behind the scenes to further strengthen his hand following a summer of change at the Keepmoat Stadium.
New-look Rovers host Fleetwood Town this weekend looking for their first win under their new manager.
“It’s a difficult one to say that one,” replied Moore, whose search for a striker to replace John Marquis remains the clear priority.
“If you look at the performances over the last couple of weeks you’ve seen a team moving in the right direction.
“Am I happy where the squad’s at now? No. There’s still work to be done and there’s work ongoing.
“You can only inch and get better by the weeks that go by on the training ground and then try to implement it in games.
“Would I like one or two more to strengthen certain areas of the pitch? Yes, because I think they would help us in terms of where we want to go.
“Have those targets been identified and spotted? Yes. And if we did get those targets in they’ll improve us again.
“Obviously when those targets come in they’ve got to integrate with the squad and quickly settle down and get to know what’s expected of them.
“All of these things take time. If you get new bodies in you can create continuity and get to where you need to get to.
“At this moment in time, how far away are we? It’s a difficult one for me to put my finger on it because the squad is not where I’d like it to be at the moment.
“We’re working towards it but we’re not there yet.”
Moore remains ‘optimistic’ of bolstering his firepower sooner rather than later. Behind the scenes hopes are high that a new striker could be on board in time to face Joey Barton’s Fleetwood.
“We’re waiting for the green light,” said Moore.
“It's just difficult because I understand the clubs don’t want to release certain players and clubs are looking at their own situation.
“You’ve just got to be patient and persevere.
“Am I getting frustrated with it? No. Because there’s plenty of work to do and I know I’ve got some good people here at Doncaster Rovers working behind the scenes to try and push those deals over the line.
“I’m just trying to focus my energies on the team going forward. The team have been excellent. We’ll carry on working.”