Doncaster Rovers: Tom Anderson turns the tables at Prenton Park in Tranmere Rovers win
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Doncaster Rovers’ stand-in skipper was part of the side booed off the pitch at Prenton Park on Boxing Day following a 3-0 defeat and responded in kind after bearing the brunt of the criticism.
On Friday he put in a man-of-the-match display as he captained Doncaster to a 2-1 win in horrendous conditions – a performance some fans labelled his best for several years.
It was the latest in a string of solid showings from Anderson, who was given a standing ovation with his teammates at the final whistle.
Two years of injury struggles have brought plenty of frustration for the club’s longest-serving outfield player and at one stage a fresh start elsewhere was mooted.
But, at long last, a player who shined in the division above feels he is finally getting back to his best.
"I think so,” said Anderson, who is now in his seventh season with Rovers.
"The last two years have been tough for me.
"When you are injured and you are in games you are thinking ‘is this going to go?’, ‘is that going to go?’.
"Your focus isn’t fully on trying to do your job. Well, it is, but when you have little niggles it can affect you.
"At the minute I feel strong.”
Anderson has featured in all of Doncaster’s last nine league games, his longest run in the side since 2021.
Anderson’s injury problems began in the 2021/22 season, which coincided with Rovers’ relegation from League One.
Before then he had been a near ever-present in a successful side.
A rinse, repeat cycle then kicked in whereby Doncaster – often struggling for form – would ask too much of Anderson too soon, only for the defender to break down again and find himself back on the sidelines.
"It was tough for me to get going and stay in the team,” admitted the 30-year-old.
"I have got over that hurdle now and sometimes that’s what you need to do. You have got to stay mentally strong, it can take its toll.
"A lot of football and a lot of sport is about mentality. You have got to dig in and keep going.
"I’m enjoying football and being back in it. Long may it continue.”