Blackpool v Doncaster Rovers: Paul Goodwin’s Verdict

Rovers' George Friend beats Leeds' Lucaino Becchio to the loose ball. Picture: Andrew Roe
Rovers' George Friend beats Leeds' Lucaino Becchio to the loose ball. Picture: Andrew Roe

ROVERS owe their supporters a big performance at Blackpool tonight - and should draw inspiration from Dean Saunders’ only away game in charge to date.

With the eyes of the footballing world on Doncaster last Friday, Rovers simply didn’t turn up.

It made painful viewing as a no-thrills Leeds team did the basics right and threatened to run riot.

The wounds of that derby defeat - and the way Rovers just rolled over - have undermined a generally positive and productive start to the Dean Saunders era.

But only a fortnight prior to the visit of the Whites, Doncaster’s spirited performance at Peterborough provided genuine hope for the future.

Rovers’ game-plan in the second half at London Road could be the blueprint for a positive result at Blackpool tonight.

They sat deep, defended well as a team, threw themselves into blocks and challenges, and caught the Posh on the break.

Tonight they’ll come up against a Blackpool side with a similar penchant for total football, so if Rovers can hold firm there could be holes at the other end to exploit.

It’s a big if, however, after the kind of defending we saw from Doncaster on Friday night, letting Leeds score two of the easiest goals they’ll net this season.

Everything that was good about that display at Peterborough was missing against Leeds.

And while getting the ball into the box is one thing, continually lumping it aimlessly from the back like they did on Friday is another.

If Rovers persist with that tactic tonight they’ll come unstuck.

Blackpool use the ball well and like to move it around at speed - so Rovers simply can’t afford to surrender possession as easily as they did against Leeds.

But, even more importantly, the fans deserve more fight from their team than they saw in the derby - the kind of fighting spirit etched all over Brian Stock’s face when he belted home the winner at Peterborough.

A draw would be a good result tonight - but it depends which Doncaster turn up.

Prediction: Blackpool 1 Rovers 1