ANALYSIS: Doncaster Rovers have adopted the manner of the manager as unbeaten run continued in Ipswich Town draw

There is often talk of teams being built in the image of their manager.

Saturday, 14th September 2019, 5:56 pm
Darren Moore

And when it comes to this iteration of Doncaster Rovers, they could hardly be more similar to Darren Moore.

It is not the hulking, imposing presence of Moore that he has moulded his team against over the last two months.

But rather, a key personality trait of the gentle giant has clearly rubbed off on the Rovers squad.

Few bosses are as laid back and calm as Moore, at least outwardly.

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And the manner of the manager has become the very much the temperament of the team.

After steady progression in each of their games under Moore's tenure, they ramped up performance levels again - this time in their toughest test of the campaign so far, at Ipswich Town.

Calm and composure reigned in a superb first half performance that was missing only a goal to crown it off.

And while the second half was much more of a battle with Ipswich a renewed force, they were not unduly troubled, deserving the share of the spoils in the very least.

Their possession play was excellent.

With Ben Whiteman and Ben Sheaf anchoring play from in front of the back four, there was a tremendous amount of fluidity. Rovers had multiple options each time they had the ball.

In addition to starting play, the protection offered by the two Bens provided freedom for full backs Brad Halliday and Reece James to push high up the pitch and stay there for sustained periods.

Both should excellent understanding with the respective wide forward, with one pushing wide and the other coming inside to ensure those plentiful options for whoever was in possession.

Arguably the most pleasing aspect however was the manner in which Rovers dealt with being in possession.

So many times do away teams visiting a big hitting divisional rival deliver erratic, frantic performances. The need to make something happen with the ball every time they take possession leads to error-strewn panicky play.

But against an Ipswich Town side that look best placed to push for automatic promotion this season, there was only calm.

Nothing was rushed, time was taken and the right pass was picked out time and again.

What it lacked was the end product, with few strong opportunities - though Jon Taylor really should have put them ahead just before half time when running onto a great ball into the box from Niall Ennis.

There was threat at the other end from Ipswich but Rovers handled it with equal comfort with Tom Anderson and Cameron John fully deserving of a first clean sheet of the campaign.

Ipswich improved in the second half and were able to get more men forward, seeing Rovers enjoy less of the ball than they did in the opening period.

James Norwood and Kayden Jackson both managed to wrestle free from the Rovers defence but were denied with smart saves from Ian Lawlor.

But the visitors continued to craft and create in the same manner, with incisive, well-timed passes releasing players into space.

What let them down throughout the afternoon was a lack of killer touch in the final third with Ben Sheaf, Ennis and Taylor missing very good chances after the break while Sheaf rattled the post with a shot from distance.

It left them clutching a point that will have no doubt disappointed a few in the Rovers dressing room.

But they should take tremendous heart from another excellent performance that kept them unbeaten, earned a first clean sheet of the campaign and saw the gathering momentum continue.

One man that certainly will not be getting carried away is Moore. And, of course, neither will his team.