Doncaster Rovers: Respect is due to Wigan but don’t give them too much warns Ferguson

Darren Ferguson
Darren Ferguson

Doncaster Rovers will be showing promotion favourites Wigan Athletic respect tonight - but not too much.

Rovers have delivered ever-increasing defensive resolve in recent games,

But boss Darren Ferguson insists he will not be focusing too much on that side of the game at the DW Stadium, despite admitting Wigan possess the strongest squad in League One this season.

“It’s important we don’t go there and defend for 90 minutes,” Ferguson told The Star.

“That’s not what we want to do.

“It’s important that when we have the ball, that we look after it well.

“Concentration is going to be key for the full game.

“We can’t switch off for a minute because they’ve got players who can hurt you, players that could easily play higher up.

“They’ve got a good squad that play in a specific way.

“For me, they’ve got the best squad in the division.

“That doesn’t mean they’re going to be successful but they’ve got an experienced manager (Paul Cook) who plays a certain way and won’t change.

“I’ve come up against him many times. They’ve got some very good players for this level.

“It’s going to be tough but I like to think that we’ve got some very good players as well and we go there to give them a game.”

Rovers have tended to perform better against the division’s stronger sides - none more so than in beating Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park early in the season.

And Ferguson feels tonight could be a very similar test for his side.

“I told the lads there that they’d see a lot of the ball,” he said.

“And I think it might be the same if we look after the ball and do the right things.

“Paul will know I’ll set up to win the game, whereas a lot of teams go to contain.

“We go there to win but we know it’s going to be difficult. We’ve got to be disciplined and organised.”

Rovers faced a good footballing side on Saturday in Fleetwood, and follow up tonight’s trip with league matches against MK Dons and Oxford United.

Ferguson feels last weekend’s performance was the ideal preparation for the coming run of games.

He said: “They have a similar way of playing so it might help us.

“Certainly the quality Wigan have got, you have to be respectful of them.”

Rovers have no fresh injury issues ahead of the trip.

Ben Whiteman is pushing for a recall to the starting 11while Craig Alcock could return to the bench after missing out against Fleetwood.