Doncaster Rovers drinking in last chance saloon ahead of massive game against Gillingham

It’s now or never for Doncaster Rovers in their bid to stay in League One.

By Paul Goodwin
Thursday, 10th March 2022, 12:10 pm

They welcome fellow bottom four strugglers Gillingham to the Eco-Power Stadium on Saturday for a game they simply dare not lose and really must take maximum points from if they harbour realistic ambitions of staying up.

Rovers are still four points from safety following a clutch of midweek fixtures involving four of their relegation rivals but now they have just nine games remaining to save their skin – and they need wins themselves, not just favours elsewhere.

After hosting the Gills this weekend Gary McSheffrey’s side face two out-of-form teams in Fleetwood Town and Charlton Athletic.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Adam Clayton shows his disbelief after being shown a red card in the 4-0 defeat to Cheltenham Town. Picture: Gareth Williams/AHPIX LTD

They also have bottom side Crewe still to play at home as well as a trip to lowly Shrewsbury Town.

McSheffrey is adamant some of the remaining fixtures are very winnable.

But that will only be the case if Rovers do the basics much better and also show more life than they did at Cheltenham Town last weekend when they collapsed to yet another heavy defeat.

The 4-0 reverse at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium was the sixth time this season that Rovers have lost by four or more goals.

During the ill-fated and infamous 1997/8 season which saw the club relegated to the Conference, Rovers lost by four or more goals on a total of seven occasions – which clearly illustrates what an awful campaign this current one has been.

But, despite their obvious shortcomings, Rovers could still get out of danger if they apply themselves over the coming weeks.

“We’ve had good reactions previously to poor scorelines and poor defeats,” said McSheffrey, when asked what gave him hope of avoiding relegation after his side’s latest setback.

“We’ve still got some big winnable games in my eyes. Some six-pointers. They're the ones we really need to look after.

“We’ll focus on the next one against Gillingham. They’re a good team, they’ve picked up some form of late as well. They’ll be coming here fighting for their lives for the win and we’ve got to do exactly the same.”