James Coppinger has admitted that the widely criticised Keepmoat Stadium pitch came close to costing the club promotion.
Following Sunday’s Women’s FA Cup final, ground staff have wasted no time in launching a ‘renovation’ project intended to breathe new life into the worn surface.
Rovers won 49 points away from home, compared to 35 on home soil, as they returned to the Championship at the first time of asking - and Coppinger is forthright on the reason why.
“I personally put it down to the pitch,” said Coppinger.
“I’m not one for making excuses but there were reasons why we played the way we played away, and why we played like we did at home.
“On the back of an away game we would start games at home like we did away [by sitting deep]. It was so hard to play how we wanted to play on that pitch.
“I’m not blaming anyone, I’m just saying that’s one of the main reasons we struggled at home.
“We couldn’t get momentum against teams. We have a lot of players who want to play off each other but we couldn’t get that going at home.
“There’s been more than 100 games on that pitch over the last year with the rugby and women’s football and, combined with one of the worst winters we’ve had for a while, it made the surface really hard.
“We enjoyed playing away. The results show that.
“The boys deserve a lot of credit for racking up 15 away wins.”