Doncaster Rovers: Making sense of such an encouraging start after such a turbulent summer

You can't put a price on team spirit.

Saturday, 7th September 2019, 18:22 pm
Updated Wednesday, 11th September 2019, 09:58 am
Niall Ennis holds off Richard Wood. Photo: Marie Caley

Unity and togetherness almost pushed Doncaster Rovers all the way to Wembley last season.

And despite those bonds being broken - the team who rattled Charlton Athletic at The Valley completely decimated - a newfound camaraderie has quickly emerged.

Following such a turbulent summer and high turnover of players, new boss Darren Moore deserves a big pat on the back for fostering such unity.

The obvious spirit and togetherness was evident again today as Rovers once more came from behind, this time to beat local rivals Rotherham United thanks to second half goals from James Coppinger and Ben Whiteman - the only two players to start against the Millers who also started that play-off semi-final second leg in south London.

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In seven games this season Moore's young team has fallen behind six times yet have lost only once. They have now won four games on the spin.

It is early days, of course, and bigger tests lie just around the corner against some of the early pacesetters. But something has clicked, something is working and something special could potentially be brewing.

No experienced striker? No panic from Moore.

The manager has personified calmness in front of the media - amid a backdrop of anxiety from some supporters - and his calm persona appears to be rubbing off on his players.

Go behind in a game? No panic from Rovers.

They stuck to their game-plan against the Millers, remained organised, wore down the opposition and their youthful exuberance - characterised by the effervescent Niall Ennis - shone through against tired legs.

Ennis' big beaming smile at the end of the game told a story. He and his fellow loan arrivals have settled in instantly, quickly bought into the club's ethos and are eager to impress.

The question remains whether relying on so many loan signings will help or hinder the club in the longer term, and whether such a high volume of loan signings is part of a revised recruitment strategy?

The question also remains why last season's team was broken up to such an extent and if indeed Rovers are tightening their belts financially?

But from a chaotic summer has emerged another harmonious team. The new kids on the block are hitting all the right notes so far.