Doncaster Rovers: ‘They can’t score if we’ve got the ball!’

James Coppinger missed the Oldham game with a groin injury
James Coppinger missed the Oldham game with a groin injury

Darren Ferguson says the solution to Doncaster Rovers’ late goal curse is a simple one: keep the ball better.

Rovers buckled in the closing stages again on Saturday as Eoin Doyle grabbed an 88th minute equaliser for Richie Wellens’ Oldham Athletic.

Club captain Andy Butler had earlier made an excellent goalline clearance, headed Rovers in front on the hour mark but then his slip allowed Doyle to pounce from close range.

Afterwards Ferguson refused to be too critical of his injury-hit side but admitted he was disappointed at how his team played during the game’s closing stages.

Asked about the late goals, he said: “It’s on everyone’s mind. It’s on your mind, my mind, the fans’ minds, the opposition’s minds.

“The best way of doing it is keeping the ball better.

“That was what disappointed me. They can’t score if we’ve got the ball.

“It’s a simple requirement of the team that we should’ve kept the ball better when they were throwing so many bodies forward because there were gaps all over their team.

“But you have to say we were very unlucky. If Andy stays on his feet, he’ll clear it.

“That’s just the way it’s going at the moment but we crack on.

“The performances [have been good]. Again at home today I thought it was a strong one. We did a lot of the stuff we worked on.

“Given the fact I had so many injuries I felt the players should be pleased with a lot of the stuff they did.

“The result was a very disappointing one though.”

On loan left back Harry Toffolo has returned to parent club Norwich City after breaking his foot.

The 22-year-old is expected to be out for six weeks, which could force Ferguson into looking elsewhere when the transfer window re-opens in January.

James Coppinger (groin) could have a chance of returning against Bristol Rovers on Saturday.

Matty Blair (calf) is most likely to return to action against Northampton Town on Boxing Day.