Scunthorpe United v Doncaster Rovers: Stand up to Iron men, urges Fergie

Paddy Madden scores the winner for Scunthorpe on Boxing Day.
Paddy Madden scores the winner for Scunthorpe on Boxing Day.

Doncaster Rovers must stand up to Scunthorpe United’s physicality in today’s M180 derby, Darren Ferguson has warned.

The Iron flexed their muscle at the Keepmoat Stadium on Boxing Day to beat Rovers for the first time in ten attempts.

Scunthorpe last did the double over Doncaster in 1991.

But to prevent a repeat of that, Ferguson says his players must firstly cope with Scunthorpe’s physical presence.

“They’re an experienced team and they’ve got some quality up front,” said Ferguson.

“They’re a big physical team too - and we’re going to have to handle that side of the game.

“They’ve got some experienced players, especially in the middle of the pitch. So we‘ll have to deal with the physical elements of that.

“The pitch isn’t great and it could be scrappy,” he added.

“So I’m going to have to make sure I’ve got a lot of energy in the team. That is something that is really on my mind.”

Scunthorpe go into today’s game buoyed by back-to-back wins under caretaker bosses Nick Daws and Andy Dawson.

Ferguson said: “You would probably think looking at their squad they should be higher up than what they are but they’re not for whatever reason.

“They beat us 1-0 on Boxing Day so we owe them one to a degree. It’s a local derby, we’ll have a lot of fans there and I’m looking forward to it.

“You’ve got to embrace the challenge. Things aren’t always going to go well.

“You’re not always going to win games and you’re going to pick up injuries, but as a manager I like to rise to the challenge of these situations. We need to get things up and running again.”