Darren Ferguson had every right to feel vindicated after shuffling his pack for Saturday’s comfortable 3-0 win over Fleetwood Town.
The Doncaster Rovers boss made five changes to the side that was rolled over at Walsall, dropping goalkeeper Ian Lawlor and midfielders Jordan Houghton, Ben Whiteman, Matty Blair and Rodney Kongolo.
His side went on to secure their first win of 2018. Alex Kiwomya scored on his first Rovers start, while Marko Marosi and a revamped back four kept a first clean sheet in ten games.
“Part of my job is to make tough decisions,” said Ferguson. “Perhaps the ones that I left out were ones that maybe needed a little bit of a breather and to come out of the firing line as such.
“The ones that I put in did very well, I have to say.
“Some of the lads I left out have hit a wee bit of a bad run in terms of form but that happens. I’ve got to protect them in a way.
“The ones that came in did very well - Mason, Alcock, I thought the back five were very good. McCullough did what he does, Kiwomya as well.”
Efficient and wholehearted, the display was a stark contrast to the one witnessed at Walsall.
Ferguson said: “I reminded them of what was expected of them on Thursday morning. We played more like a team that people are used to seeing in terms of energy, application, determination to win a game of football.
“I thought they were very good at it.
“We were dominant. Three goals, a clean sheet - a comprehensive victory really.”