Doncaster Rovers’ midfield is the driving force this season and five other things we learned this week

Doncaster Rovers celebrate
Doncaster Rovers celebrate

Doncaster Rovers continued their upturn in form with a pair of excellent results against two of League One’s form sides.

A draw that really ought to have been a win at Barnsley was followed up by a relatively comfortable triumph over a Blackpool side that was looking for a sixth consecutive victory.

Here we take a look at some of the talking points of the last week.

NO GUARANTEE FOR ROWE

The return to fitness of Tommy Rowe has been hailed and rightly so. Particularly after the impact he made off the bench against AFC Wimbledon.

While he has been declared now fit enough to start games, he remains on the bench and with good reason.

McCann insists he picks players on form and when it comes to the captain, he has been proved right.

Rovers’ midfield has been the driving force behind the side all season and even when there have been concerns over defensive frailty or lack of goals, the middle three have consistently performed at high levels.

Against Barnsley, the triumvirate of Ali Crawford, Ben Whiteman and Herbie Kane was excellent and was deservedly kept intact for the clash with Blackpool.

Some of the one touch play, driven by these three, was excellent on Tuesday night and helped them keep up the pressure even as Rovers struggled for fluency in the final third.

Though Rowe is no doubt pushing them all the way and will inevitably come back into the starting XI soon, his place is not a foregone conclusion.

SPEAKING OF WHITEMAN

While Kane grabs all the attention, his midfield partner is consistently performing at high levels.

Whiteman has made the deeper lying position his own and continually develops into the role.

As important a player as he is in acting as a blocker for the back four, Whiteman is more key going the other way.

He receives the ball from the back four and is immediately on the front foot with smart turns and incisive passing.

As McCann sets out his side to be on the front foot constantly, Whiteman is arguably the key figure in implementing his philosophy and his efforts should not go unnoticed.