Blueprint comment shows Darren Moore's thinking on Doncaster Rovers future and this transfer window: Analysis of defeat to Coventry City

They were words that could easily be dismissed as compliments for an opposition team that had just got the better of his side.

Sunday, 19th January 2020, 3:00 pm
Updated Sunday, 19th January 2020, 5:07 pm

But Darren Moore's post-match thoughts on Coventry City said a whole lot more about his assessment and outlook for Doncaster Rovers.

They were words which spoke volumes about where Rovers are in the development process in the eyes of their manager.

And they were words which offered a significant indication of how pivotal or not he sees the current transfer window.

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Darren Moore during Doncaster Rovers' defeat to Coventry City. Picture: Marie Caley

Speaking after the particularly narrow 1-0 defeat to the on-form Sky Blues, Moore described the gradual development of the opposition as the blueprint.

"They're a team that are two, maybe three, years in the making," he said.

"I'd like to think in the timescale given, that is exactly where we would be in the course of a season, into the next season, after a couple of windows and a re-shaping of the squad."

A couple of windows. A re-shaping of the squad. Time, not an overnight revolution.

Kieran Sadlier battles for the ball against Coventry City. Picture: Marie Caley

While they may have been so close to a positive result against Coventry, from Moore's perspective at least, they are a long way behind Mark Robins' side in their own development.

And without attempting to draw too much from simple words, it is fair to speculate the Rovers boss does not see one transfer window alone as being the accelerant needed to catch up.

It might be fairly decisive in how Rovers fare for the rest of the campaign but in the mind of the manager it is not the be all, end all that the supporter driven furore would suggest.

Moore has made it clear he wants a young squad packed with potential that can develop together. To do so, he needs both time and the right additions - something he has made pretty clear.

Brad Halliday. Picture: Marie Caley

There is no doubt that Moore has made tremendous strides with the squad in inherited from the rubble of another summer of turmoil at Rovers. Imagine where they could be another year down the line, if they do follow the blueprint.

It was something reflected during the first half on Saturday in particular where the most significant compliment that could be paid to Coventry was that they knew exactly what they were doing.

Off the ball, the Sky Blues were excellent. They denied Rovers space in which to operate, closed down the ball with intelligence and energy and looked capable of doing it all afternoon.

It took Rovers the majority of the half to get to grips with it and stop making mistakes in passing that played straight into the hands of the opposition.

Ben Whiteman closes down the ball. Picture: Marie Caley

And then there was the counterattacking play of Coventry. Quick, incisive, aggressive and, most importantly, composed. They packed plenty of threat and it looked set to be a long afternoon for Rovers.

Robins afterwards bemoaned a lack of correct decision-making from his side in the final third. If they had possessed it on the day, Coventry would likely have been out of sight.

Single-minded decision-making gave the visitors the decisive goal when Jordan Shipley elected to shoot from space 25 yards out and sent a zipping low shot into the bottom corner.

Rovers did not possess such quality firepower on the afternoon, ensuring returning keeper Marko Marosi was not unduly troubled despite being given a bit to think about after the break.

While he may look to the future, in the present Moore already has is a squad with tremendous battling spirit.

They worked their collective socks off in the second half in an attempt to find a way back into the game. They produced some very good play in the opposition half - just not in the final third where a lack of presence in the box was laid bare yet again.

They also defended resolutely to handle the pressure from the opposition where it came.

Wherever Moore sees the squad on their cycle of development, it is clear at the very least he has tremendous foundations on which to build.

How long the construction job will take remains to be seen. But we know Moore has the blueprint in hand.