Doncaster Rovers: The ‘Arsenal system’ could suit us again in the future admits Ferguson

Darren Ferguson applauds Rovers supporters at the Emirates
Darren Ferguson applauds Rovers supporters at the Emirates

Darren Ferguson admits he could use the system he deployed against Arsenal in future league matches after being impressed by Doncaster Rovers’ performances at the Emirates.

Alfie May, and subsequently John Marquis, operated as lone front men with James Coppinger and Rodney Kongolo offering support while Ben Whiteman and Jordan Houghton screened the defence.

Rovers both frustrated and troubled the Premier League giants in Wednesday night’s Carabao Cup clash and Ferguson admits he may have found a system he could return to in the coming weeks.

“I thought we looked solid,” Ferguson said.

“We also wanted to get Coppinger free when we had the ball.

“Against Arsenal you do have to set up differently to what you would perhaps against a League One team.

“But on occasions away from home, that solid base, a good shape and playing off the shape, becoming more of a counterattacking team, is something we can definitely open up to.

“There’s no doubt about it.

“We spoke about it after the Arsenal game with the staff that we’ve got to have different ways of playing.”

Though Rovers are back on the road this weekend at fellow League One strugglers Plymouth Argyle, Ferguson insists he will not be deploying that system again on Saturday.

He said: “I don’t think Saturday is an occasion to do it because I think it’ll be the opposite where Plymouth just give us the ball.

“We won’t play the same way but I’ve got decisions to make.

“I’ve got a squad who all want to play. I’ve got four fit strikers so it’s decisions that I have to make most weeks.

“Watching Plymouth, they haven’t changed a massive amount from last season and neither have we.

“I think they’ll do a similar thing and may want to play on the counter like they did at their place last season.

“They’re a good team. They’re not having a great time at the minute like ourselves and that’s why this game is so important.

“Hopefully we’ll go there and do the business.”