Preview: Blackburn Rovers v Doncaster Rovers - Ferguson urges men to ’be brave and believe’ at Ewood Park

Rodney Kongolo celebrates scoring on his first start at Bradford - but the teenager but could be benched for the trip to Blackburn.
Rodney Kongolo celebrates scoring on his first start at Bradford - but the teenager but could be benched for the trip to Blackburn.

Darren Ferguson has called on Rovers to be brave and believe when they head to League One promotion favourites Blackburn Rovers.

Ferguson insists going to Ewood Park with confidence they can win will be the foundation for continuing their impressive start to the season.

And from there the Rovers boss says his side must look after the ball against Tony Mowbray’s side.

“We’ve got to make sure we’re brave on the ball against them,” Ferguson told the Free Press.

“If we keep giving the ball back to them it’ll give us a problem.

“It’ll be a tough game.

“They’re a good team that play different formations and are very good on the ball.

“We’ll have to put in a good performance both on and off the ball – as you’d expect.

“But we’re looking forward to it, especially after the win at Bradford.”

Rovers advanced in the Carabao Cup with a 3-2 win at League One rivals Bradford on Tuesday night.

It came with another impressive and confident attacking performance which followed on from Saturday’s season opener against Gillingham.

“I thought some of our football was really good on Tuesday,” Ferguson said. They pressed us but we got through the press.

“I thought they did that well and we just try to keep improving from every game.

“They need to take confidence out of the two performances they’ve given so far.”

Ferguson is expecting a strong reaction from Blackburn on Saturday after they lost at Southend United last weekend and play in front of their home support for the first time this season.

He said: “I watched their game against Southend earlier in the week. Southend deserved to win that.

“It’s their first home game. We’ve got to go there and truly believe that we will win the game.

“I’ll make sure the players do that.”

Liam Mandeville and James Coppinger are both expected to return for Rovers after sitting out Tuesday night’s win over Bradford City in the Carabao Cup.

Ferguson revealed he may opt to bench Rodney Kongolo as the Manchester City loanee continues to adapt to the rigours of playing three games in the space of one week.

TEAM NEWS

James Coppinger, Matty Blair and Liam Mandeville will return after missing the midweek Carabao Cup win at Bradford City.

Tyler Garratt, Rodney Kongolo and Alfie May could make way.

Andy Williams is also available after recovering from a hamstring strain, while Issam Ben Khemis has received international clearance.

MEMORY MATCH

Rovers 2 Blackburn 0, August 16, 2013

Rovers produced an all-action display to defeat Blackburn in their second game of the 2013/14 Championship season.

Theo Robinson and James Husband got the goals.

DID YOU KNOW?

Doncaster have never won at Blackburn.

In 11 attempts they have drawn three and lost eight.

KEY BATTLE

In Peter Whittingham and Bradley Dack, Blackburn boast two of the best midfielders in the division.

Rovers’ engine room will have to work hard to restrict them space and time.

Dack, however, may not feature after tweaking his hamstring in the opening day defeat at Southend.