Doncaster Rovers happy to go under the radar in League Two promotion predictions says striker

You have to make your way down to number ten on the list of promotion favourites from League Two next season before you find Doncaser Rovers.

Saturday, 23rd July 2022, 6:00 am

The likes of Gillingham, Tranmere and Swindon are all fancied ahead of Rovers, as well as big-spending sides like Bradford City, Salford and Stockport County.

Then there’s Leyton Orient, Northampton and Mansfield, too.

But they don’t care.

Josh Andrews, wearing the number 20 shirt, celebrates his goal against Nuneaton. Photo: Andrew Roe/AHPIX LTD

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"If teams want to think we’re not going to be up there then that’s fine,” said striker Josh Andrews, who has joined on a sixth-month loan from Championship side Birmingham City.

"When they play us they will be surprised; the team’s fit, we’ve got so many good quality players in the squad, a great mix of experience and youth.

"We’re a strong outfit and if people want to doubt us that’s fine. We’ll use that as motivation.”

The early signs are good, depending how much you want to read into pre-season performances and results and the noises coming out of the team.

Doncaster are unbeaten, having won four of their five friendlies so far, which includes a victory over last season’s Championship play-off finalists Huddersfield Town.

"We are very optimistic and I think we have the right to be after beating Huddersfield, who were one game away from the Premiership.

"We got a good 2-2 draw – and potentially should have had more – against another Championship side (Rotherham).

"You can see the quality the side has and we really want to kick on.”

Gary McSheffrey’s group has a tough start on paper with games against six of those sides tipped for promotion ahead of them in the opening two months, starting away at Bradford City next Saturday.

Yet nothing is won on paper – and the confidence appears to be flowing through this group of players, new and old, as was evident in Tuesday’s match against the Millers.

"We can’t wait for the season to start,” said 20-year-old Andrews, who boasts experience at this level with Harrogate and Rochdale and has been tipped to be ‘Championship-ready’ in the not-too-distant future.

"All the lads are buzzing and we just want to get it under way, start climbing that table and hopefully be right near the top.”

Rovers play their final pre-season friendly away to FC United of Manchester today (3pm kick-off).