Doncaster Rovers: Ferguson out to stamp identity on club

Darren Ferguson
Darren Ferguson

Darren Ferguson is determined to stamp an identity on Doncaster Rovers as he looks to rid the club of a ‘lethargic feeling.’

The Rovers boss spoke last week of noticing a lethargy within the football arm of the club after arriving last month and his on-going desire to ensure change.

Explaining his observations further, Ferguson revealed he wants to see enthusiasm from every Rovers player across every age group.

“When I came into the job, I just felt there was a bit of a flatness about the place,” Ferguson told The Star.

“Maybe that was because of the circumstances at the time and the results.

“What I’ve got to try to do is make sure the players understand my personality. I’m optimistic and bubbly and they just need to go with that.

“I’m not just talking about the first team.

“I want people to understand what it is to be a Doncaster Rovers player.

“I want an identity to the football club and I want it all the way through the club.

“There has to be an enthusiasm. I’m not saying it wasn’t there before but there was a flatness.

“It’s simple. I need to see the energy and enthusiasm whether it’s Monday in training or Friday.

“I work in a specific way. Everyone has their own opinion but this is just how I like to see things done.

The 43-year-old said he implemented similar philosophies at both Peterborough United and Preston North End during his time at the two clubs.

And while enthusiasm is a major part of Ferguson’s identity, hard work is equally as important.

He said: “We don’t want to be out-worked by any team. Ability is one thing but you’ve got to get that right.

“It can’t be like ‘we’ll go in for a couple of hours and be back home. This is where we work, where we learn.

“Things like having them in on a Sunday when we’re playing on a Tuesday. I don’t think it’s right they have Sunday off when we’re at the bottom of the league.

“On saying that, I’d probably still have them in if we were top because it’s important they know how to prepare and Sunday is the most important day for recovery in that scenario.

“It’s things like that which will change. It won’t be anything dramatic.

“Some things I’ve changed already, some will take time.

“It’s important I get the message over to staff as well.

“This is how it’s going to be and when everyone understands that, there won’t be any complaints I don’t think.”

One of the main tasks handed down to Ferguson on his appointment last month was creating a pathway for the club’s youth team graduates into the senior squad.

And he believes imposing an identity throughout the club will ensure a better transition for younger players.

He said: “The first team players have been good and they’ve bought into what I’ve asked of them.

“But it’s got to run all the way through.

“If I get a youth player in my first team, they’ve got to understand how to play in the first team, regardless of the system or formation.

“They need to understand why they’re there, understand how important the training sessions are what we do.

“In the whole place, we need to see that enthusiasm.

“I’ve said from day one I want to get the young players in but they have to understand what it takes and what we’re all about.”