Grant McCann has warned his Doncaster Rovers side to expect a much tougher game this time around against Stuart McCall’s rejuvenated Scunthorpe United.
The Iron have won six of their last nine games to move clear of the League One drop zone.
Prior to that they lost seven on the bounce – including a comfortable 3-0 win for Rovers in the reverse fixture at the Keepmoat Stadium in December.
McCall added several new players to his squad during the January transfer window including Adam Hammill, Byron Webster, Harrison McGahey and Tony McMahon.
And McCann, who spent two years at Scunthorpe during his playing days, says his former club’s business has given them a ‘bounce’.
“I was sat with Stuart’s assistant Kenny Black at the Barnsley game on Tuesday night,” said McCann.
“He was saying it’s probably the players that they’ve brought in have raised the standards of the ones who were in the team.
“If you look at the players they’ve brought in, there’s only been one or two of them actually in the team over the past few games.
“It can go one of two ways when you bring that number of players in. It can either upset the dressing room. Or you can get a bounce from it, and that’s exactly what’s happened.
“Their form’s been excellent.
“They’ve got some very good players there and a very good manager.
“They’re a team that’s on the up and you can see they’re vastly improved from the last time we played them.”
Rovers, who are unbeaten in derby matches this season, also won 2-1 at Glanford Park earlier in the season in the Carabao Cup.
“It’ll be different this time,” warned McCann.
“They’ve changed their shape a little bit. Whether they play the way they have done in the last three games, I don’t know.
“It’s going to be difficult. It’s always difficult at Glanford Park, regardless of what time of year you go there.
“But the boys are confident. We’re in a confident mood.
“Training has been sharp, but it’s about what you do on a Saturday. We’re looking forward to it.”
Mallik Wilks is likely to return to the starting line-up after missing last weekend’s FA Cup defeat to Crystal Palace through suspension.