'I'm confident we'd have made the play-offs if we'd carried on' - Doncaster Rovers boss Darren Moore reacts to the ending of the League One season

Darren Moore is highly confident that Doncaster Rovers would have made the play-offs had the 2019/20 season continued.

By Liam Hoden
Thursday, 11th June 2020, 9:02 am
Updated Tuesday, 16th June 2020, 11:59 am

An ‘overwhelming majority’ of clubs voted this week to curtail the League One season in light of the Covid-19 pandemic which put the campaign on hold for three months.

It left Rovers with a ninth place finish. Prior to football’s shutdown, Rovers were five points off the top six with at least one game in hand over the majority of their rivals.

And Moore feels his side would have overturned the deficit had they been able to play their final ten matches.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Darren Moore

“With the work that had gone on this season and building some momentum, I know I’m biased but I am quietly confident that had the season carried on, we’d have made the play-offs,” he told the Free Press. “I really think that.

“We were just getting momentum at the right time and I was champing at the bit for it. “They’ve gone ahead and cancelled it.

“I knew it was coming but you still get that feeling. I’ve got a bit of a low mood today. I was expecting it over the weeks but when it got confirmed, you feel it.”

There had been a definitive split between League One clubs over how to resolve the season.

Many were concerned about the financial implications of playing on without supporters present in stadiums, which would deny clubs their biggest source of income.

Others felt it was only fair to play on and give them a chance to earn their own fates, such as Peterborough United pushing for promotion or Tranmere Rovers avoiding relegation.

Rovers maintained a stance of going along with the prevalent view in discussions.

Moore says he sympathises with all views on the situation.

But he also believes Rovers could have had their own frustrations over being denied the opportunity to win a play-off place, had they gone down that route.

“Everybody had their own points and they were valid,” Moore said.

“I understand that the financial implications without the fans at this level is a huge ask.

“There’s a lot of people complaining at the EFL and the PFA, feeling they could have put a better plan together in the time to enable League One to go on.

“That’s what we’re there for. We’re there to play football.

“But those plans were not being reached so the best thing was to call it off.

“I can understand Peterborough’s frustrations, Sunderland’s.

“We’ve got frustrations of our own and I feel we should have been sitting six points better off. The Bolton game, the Tranmere game getting called off, Portsmouth - there’s been a lot of upheaval for Doncaster Rovers and we’ve been kind of pushed to one side.

“I could have my own frustrations with it at the time to say we did nothing wrong and we’ve just been pushed from pillar to post.

“We had ten games left so we had a game or two on most teams.

“I was fancying it.

“We’d done very well against the teams above us, Even the two teams that went up - they were two tight games against Coventry and we beat Rotherham at home.

“Even Peterborough - Darren Ferguson said he’d be happy to see the back of me this season.

“The weekend when [the shutdown] came, we had Wimbledon at home. We’d just come off the back of two straight wins in two difficult games.

“There was a real buzz back around the place with ten games remaining. We were hitting a run of form and we were in the ascendency. I’m going to say that as a manager but I can do because I was in there at the time.

“Being a former player who was promoted five times, you don’t forget that feeling that you need. I just feel that we were right on the surface of that.”


A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper.

Thank you

Nancy Fielder, editor