Time for home comfort

James Chambers in action against Milwall. Picture: Steve Uttley
James Chambers in action against Milwall. Picture: Steve Uttley

Injury ravaged Rovers could really do with a few home comforts over the next week.

Not only are Doncaster suffering the ill-effects of a massive injury pile-up.

Not only are Doncaster suffering the ill-effects of a massive injury pile-up.

A serious bout of travel sickness has seen them take just one point from their last five away games in the Championship.

Rovers’ last win on the road came at Saturday’s opponents Portsmouth three months ago.

So with daunting trips to Swansea, Norwich, Leeds and Nottingham Forest on the horizon it needs to be a case of home sweet home as Rovers prepare for a very winnable double at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Saturday’s gut-wrenching defeat to Millwall - yet another last minute horror show - hammered a potentially fatal nail into the play-off coffin.

But the top six dream is not dead yet.

With players due to return from injury as the campaign climaxes there’s always a chance Rovers could end the season with a flourish.

It would take a quite sensational run of form between now and May for Doncaster to break into the promotion shake-up - and aspirations have sensibly shifted towards safeguarding Championship status.

But six points out of six against two of the division’s lesser lights, Portsmouth and Ipswich, is certainly well within Rovers’ grasp - even with an entire first eleven currently crocked and watching on from the sidelines.

One thing Doncaster have done well this season is bounce back from adversity - although they have had far too many big setbacks in the first place.

They beat Hull a week after they were trounced at Cardiff.

They got one over Sheffield United just days after losing at home to Derby in disappointing fashion.

And they battled to victory against Middlesbrough after a humiliating afternoon at Leicester before Christmas.

That steadfast steeliness and determination was also on show last time out at the Keepmoat as Rovers ended a six-game winless run by grinding out a win against Burnley.

And it’ll need to be more of the same on Saturday if they want to sink a Portsmouth side full of Premier League quality but horrendously out of form.

Conceding another late goal at the New Den was a bitter pill to swallow after neither side had looked like winning.

But Rovers need to dust themselves down and pick themselves up yet again against a Pompey team without a win in ten - or risk being dragged into a battle at the wrong end of the table.

Steve Cotterill’s side are in the relegation mire - but victory for them this weekend would move them to within two points of Rovers.

Six wins from the remaining 18 fixtures should be enough to guarantee survival.

The quicker they are achieved, the better.

The pleasing aspect this month has been Rovers’ rearguard tightening and I reckon we’re in for a couple of very close encounters at the Keepmoat.

Four points would be a good return.

Rovers 1 Portsmouth 0

Rovers 1 Ipswich 1