Doncaster Rovers: New faces will be on show in Rossington friendly

Tommy Rowe is likely to be among the players featuring for Rovers at Rossington tonight
Tommy Rowe is likely to be among the players featuring for Rovers at Rossington tonight
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Darren Ferguson plans to give all his fit players 45 minutes as Doncaster Rovers begin their pre-season programme at Rossington Main tonight.

Rovers returned from their training camp in Scotland yesterday and Ferguson hoped to have 20 outfield players at his disposal in order to field two different sides in each half.

New signings Joe Wright, Matty Blair, Tyler Garrett, Mathieu Baudry, John Marquis and Ross Etheridge could all make their first appearances in Rovers colours while former loanees Gary McSheffrey and Tommy Rowe should also receive game time after joining on permanent deals.

Key for Ferguson is coming through the clash with their Northern Counties East League Division One neighbours with no fresh injuries.

“We look to make sure the players get match fitness in these games and also that they understand what we’ve been working on,” Ferguson told The Star.

“The third thing, and probably the most important, is that we don’t get any injuries.

“The key to any pre-season is having a fully fit squad at the end of it.

“They understand what we’ve worked on is key also and making sure we see enough of that.

“It’s about getting up to speed before the first game of the season at Accrington.”

Ferguson says tonight’s short trip to Oxford Street and Saturday’s home friendly against Premier League Middlesbrough will be about getting match fitness for his players before his team begins to take shape in the clash with Newcastle United next week.

He said: “The Rossington and Middlesbrough games, ideally all the players will get 45 minutes.

“There will be two different teams in both of those games and then Newcastle, we’ll probably look to get more time on the pitch for some of them.

“Everyone that is fit will feature at Rossington. Hopefully we’ve got enough bodies to allow that to happen.

“In an ideal world we’ll have 20 outfield players and I might include one or two kids if we don’t get any more in.

“That’s fine because we are taking one or two to Scotland, those who I think will be quite prominent from youth level.”