Meticulous Doncaster Rovers boss on different preparations for non-league opposition in FA Cup

Losing the manager to self-isolation less than 48 hours before the game hardly makes for ideal preparations for Doncaster Rovers.

By Liam Hoden
Friday, 6th November 2020, 5:00 pm

But getting themselves ready for a trip to FC United of Manchester in the FA Cup was always going to be a little different for Rovers, despite the unfortunate late turn of events.

Darren Moore’s approach to upcoming games is meticulous and packed with detail on the opposition team, which is then filtered to his players as part of the game plan for the day.

Finding such a level of detail on a Northern Premier League outfit was never going to be a simple task.

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FC United of Manchester's Broadhurst Park home

But using a list of contacts and scouts, plus whatever video footage he could find, Moore feels Rovers will be heading to Broadhurst Park well-prepared for a tricky test.

“It’s one of the avenues you can adopt, getting in touch with your contacts in the game,” he told the Free Press.

“Video footage, people watching games on our behalf and reporting back in.

“You devise a plan from there.

“You plan and prepare like any other game.

“We’ve prepared as best we can.

“I’d have loved to have had a week to prepare for it but you don’t get that.

“In terms of information, knowledge and detail, it doesn’t really change.

“We’ve put in the same focus like we have done for previous games and we’ll prepare in the exact same way.

“We’ll look at them as we work towards the game.”

Andy Butler oversaw the final day of training ahead of the game with Moore forced to self-isolate along with coaches Jamie Smith and Paul Gerrard after coming into contact with a positive Covid-19 case earlier in the week.

While preparations for Saturday had already been drawn up, Butler has been given the green light to deliver them as he sees fit to ensure the messages to the players are clear.

The 37-year-old will take charge of the trip to FC United plus the Papa John’s Trophy clash with Wolverhampton Wanderers on Tuesday. It is expected that the League One clash with Oxford United next Saturday will be postponed due to international call-ups.

Moore will not manage the matches directly but will be watching on and would make contact with Butler if he felt the need to offer his input.

On Saturday’s game itself, Moore has urged Rovers to play the match not the occasion as they come up against a side looking to claim a big scalp live on national television.

“There’s a lot of spirit and endeavour about teams in this situation,” he said.

“There’s a difference in the air about these games.

“Sometimes you can get caught up in the occasion of it when you just have to play the game.

“They’ve got players there that are more than capable of playing at a higher level.

“They’re a club that’s been well supported. The facilities are wonderful.

“You can see the ambition is to go a lot higher and work through the leagues.

“The platform is there for them. Credit to them as a club.”


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