Doncaster Rovers: The worrying stat that needs to change - and fast

Doncaster fell behind at Bradford and went on to lose the game - a recurring pattern over the first two months of the season.
Doncaster fell behind at Bradford and went on to lose the game - a recurring pattern over the first two months of the season.

When things have been good under Darren Ferguson things have tended to be very good.

And when things have not gone so well, things have had a habit of going very badly wrong.

Chucking the League Two title away last season was a nasty stain on an otherwise impressive campaign.

While the season before’s 17-game sequence without a win and subsequent relegation is still the stick used by the Scot’s biggest critics to beat him with.

It is during those times of difficulty that Rovers have seemingly been found wanting in terms of mental toughness and, you might say, true character.

One of the big question marks at the beginning of this season was how this young team would cope if things started to go against them. Another accusation is that this group of players are ‘too nice’.

In the midst of a poor run of form which has seen Rovers lose six of their last eight league games, those questions and doubts now need answering.

Even at this relatively early stage of the season, there is another alarming stat that is arguably an even greater cause for concern than recent results.

Every time Rovers have gone behind in a league game this season they have ended up with nothing.

It happened against Wimbledon, Northampton and Scunthorpe, and again at Bradford City last weekend.

On the contrary, their two wins at Blackburn and Plymouth came after scoring the first goal and then kicking on from there to win 3-1 and 3-0 respectively.

If you go behind to Doncaster, and you’re forced to come out and take risks, there is very good chance this Rovers team will then pick you off.

But if you take the lead and then make it difficult, keep your shape and limit space in the final third, the stats currently suggest you’ll negate Rovers and end up with all three points.

It goes without saying the first goal is vital when Rovers host Southend United this weekend.

But if Doncaster do go behind then they need to start showing some powers of recovery - or questions will continue to be asked.

It’s all very well playing nicely for patches in games but Rovers are currently coming up short in both boxes, and they are being made to pay.

When the going gets tough, Doncaster really need to get going!