Doncaster Rovers head into their own Twelve Days of Christmas at a crossroads: Liam Hoden column
Doncaster Rovers are tuning up the band for their own version of the Twelve Days of Christmas – and it remains to be seen whether it is a hit or a flop.
Starting on Saturday against Accrington Stanley, Rovers go on the hunt for 12 points in 12 days, taking them through to the visit of Oxford United on New Year’s Day.
While it would be wrong to suggest that the festive period is make or break for Rovers, it could prove a considerable indication of their fortunes in the second half of the campaign.
With Rovers sitting as far off the bottom three as they are the top six, it is suggest that they at a crossroads in their season.
That is particularly pertinent given their recent run of form which has seen them win only three of their last 12 league matches.
It has proven a struggle for Darren Moore’s men to rediscover the form of the start of the season – though there have been some positive signs among the tough battle for victories.
The first half at AFC Wimbledon on Saturday was a timely reminder of just what Rovers are capable of when they hit their stride.
Barring the absence of goals that should have put the game to bed, they attacked with pace, intelligence and incisiveness to take full control.
But in the second half, errors proved costly and ultimately left them empty-handed. Unfortunately that has been the pervading story of the last couple of months.
A lot of emphasis has been placed on January as the month for Rovers to put themselves back on track, with the hope there will be some significant transfer activity in the areas where the squad is short on number and depth of quality.
But it cannot be overlooked that there are a lot of points available before the window opens.
With four matches in just 12 days, Rovers can take significant strides towards powering themselves back up the standings.
They could also miss out on vital points and see themselves looking over their shoulders come the new year – which was unthinkable just a few short months ago.
The three games in hand to come are something to cling onto but, as the old adage goes, you’d rather have points on the board.
Right now, their record is decidedly mid-table and it would be a massive shame if that is what this season petered out to, given the tremendous positivity of the first couple of months.
Christmas is meant to be the happiest time of the year. Let’s hope that Rovers are looking back on the 2019 period with fondness for years to come.