PAUL GOODWIN: Rovers will go down if they don’t raise their game EVERY week

Gabriel Tamas made an impressive debut against Wigan.
Gabriel Tamas made an impressive debut against Wigan.

It’s a very simple equation: Doncaster will be relegated if the pattern of this season continues.

Rovers’ ability to raise their game against the big boys reared its head again in the superb win over FA Cup holders Wigan.

But if they don’t back it up against the Championship’s lesser lights over the coming weeks they can wave goodbye to the division. It’s as simple as that.

Prior to Saturday’s destruction of the Latics, Paul Dickov’s men did the same to the best two teams in the league, Leicester and Queens Park Rangers.

Not helped by injury after injury, the problem has been backing it up in the bread and butter games.

October’s win over the Foxes was followed a four-game slump that saw Rovers ship 11 goals in three games.

Worse still, the brilliant comeback victory over QPR preceded an eight game win-less run that saw Rovers slip back into the bottom three.

It comes as no surprise at all to learn that Doncaster have won more points against teams currently in the top half of the division (14) than the bottom half (10).

They are trends that Rovers daren’t repeat.

The next six weeks or so are likely to make or break the club’s bid for survival.

Seven of the next nine games are against sides in the wrong half of the Championship. That includes six-pointers with Charlton, Barnsley and Yeovil.

So it’s now or never in terms of ripping up the form book. And Rovers could not have asked for better opponents this weekend, in floundering Blackpool, to start reversing the aforementioned patterns.

There were some very promising signs on Saturday that Rovers can do just that; Paul Keegan’s steel brought the best out of Richie Wellens, Gabriel Tamas slotted in seamlessly, while a fully fit Chris Brown helped to ignite James Coppinger and Harry Forrester.

Keeping players fit will be key to the relegation scrap. But Rovers can help themselves too.

If they can get revved up for the big teams, they can do it every week.

If they don’t, they’ll be back in League One next season.