Doncaster Rovers: Why Fergie's proving just the man for the job - and this transfer window is not the be-all and end-all for Rovers

Darren Ferguson
Darren Ferguson

It's that time again.

Welcome to January - the month everyone seems to think bringing in new players is the answer to everything.

Log onto any fans' forum or messageboard and the 'we need this, we need that' craic will jump out at you. The focus is always on the 'have nots' rather than the 'haves'.

But at a club like Rovers, one which operates stringently and now champions the promotion of players from within, the answer is not always to bring a new face in.

Lower down the ladder, the secret to success is about getting the best out of what is available - which is exactly what Sean O'Driscoll did at Doncaster. And in Darren Ferguson, Rovers now appear to have another manager capable of doing just that.

Fergie's pro-active style of management, positive game plan and his sheer presence have unquestionably raised standards at Rovers. The proof is in the results. Finally, a consistent set of results.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing but under Paul Dickov there did not appear to be the same drive or decisiveness at management level. Everything seemed just a little too cosy.

Ferguson's impact has only served to highlight further the underachievement under his predecessor. Indeed, one of the biggest criticisms levelled at Dickov is that he did not get the best out of the players at his disposal; the form of marquee signing Andy Williams would appear to be a case in point.

After initially being dropped, Williams has scored nine goals in his last 11 games and has flourished in Ferguson's new system. Under Dickov, the striker was starved of service and looked like a man with the weight of the world on his shoulders.

Cedric Evina, Harry Middleton and Mitchell Lund - all very deliberately rewarded with new contracts to send out a very clear message to the rest of the squad - have also impressed under Fergie, who has placed his trust in the young ones. But it's not just about getting individuals to perform.

Rovers, as a team, now look more compact, cohesive and confident, and that is down to the manager's very clear way of playing and the way he was able to quickly get his ideas across to his players. He wants to get bodies forward, press, and put the squeeze on the opposition - and his squad immediately bought into that approach. Rovers are playing with an identity again, a purpose.

So, yes, the addition of a different type of striker, a pacey centre back, a right back or another defensive midfielder would do no harm this month.

But Rovers' prospects, at least for the remainder of this season, rest more on Ferguson's ability to get the best out of the players he inherited than any mid-season meddling in the transfer market.

The way Rovers wish to live within their means dictates that solutions have to come from the inside the club more often than not.

And the way that Ferguson has coached and tinkered with this team to good effect since his appointment suggests he was the right choice for the job.

Recruitment, at least at this stage of the season, is not the be-all and end-all for Rovers.

Make no mistake, Ferguson will want to get his own players in and shift some out. That is only natural.

But it is likely to be next summer when his re-building really gets going. In the meantime, his job is more about motivation, man management and maintaining the standards set over the last two and bit months.