BRETT Davey says his players have a responsibility to raise their game when Leeds Carnegie arrive at Castle Park for a Boxing Day bonanza.
Doncaster were dumped out of the British & Irish Cup in controversial fashion on Saturday.
Swansea scored a last gasp try to snatch victory, despite protests from the Knights that the game should have been stopped due to a head injury to captain Chris Hallam.
But Davey was not making any excuses when he spoke to the Free Press this week - and made it clear he expects a lot better on Monday.
Davey said: “The performance on Saturday was not acceptable for a Doncaster side.
“It was miles away from the required standard.
“I’ve stood up for the players to this point but I can’t defend them this time.
“When you’ve got paying customers coming through the gates you have a responsibility to perform to a high standard - but we didn’t get going and we didn’t have the desire to win the game.
“What makes it more frustrating is that we got one of our highest attendances of the season at Castle Park and we just didn’t perform.
“Boxing Day is a great opportunity to bounce back - but I’d prefer not to be in that position in the first place.
“We’ve lost our momentum and we need to get it back against Leeds.
“When the fixtures were released this was the one that immediately caught the eye.
“A Boxing Day derby at home to Leeds should hopefully be a great occasion.
“The lads who are lucky enough to start the game have a responsibility to put on a big performance.
“I expect a lot better than what I saw against Swansea.”
Saturday’s dour B&I Cup contest burst into life in stoppage time when a penalty try and David McIlwaine’s conversion gave the hosts a late 16-13 lead.
But straight from the restart Hallam slumped to the ground after a heavy blow to the face.
His shellshocked team-mates were left in disarray as the referee allowed play to continue and Swansea’s Rhodri Wells crashed over the whitewash in the 12th minute of stoppage time.
Davey said: “I really can’t comment on the referee’s performance but we’ll be going through the appropriate channels to make our concerns known.
“We’ve been concerned about refereeing inconsistencies all season.
“But we can’t use that as an excuse for our own performance.
“It’s not the first time this season we’ve let our standards slip in the British & Irish Cup and that’s something which is really disappointing.”
Hallam broke his nose in the late controversy but is expected to fit to face Leeds.
PJ Gidlow and Alex Brown could also return to the starting line-up.