Liam Hoden: The signs point to a good season ahead for Rovers

Andy Williams
Andy Williams

What to expect from Doncaster Rovers a year ago was very much a mystery.

Another tumultuous pre-season, delivering another failed takeover, had come and gone, leaving a mess in its wake and little time to clear it up.

So as Rovers headed into their first game of the season, with Paul Dickov still attempting to piece together a squad by any means necessary, what level the team would be operating at remained under question.

No one could say with any certainty that Rovers would make a good fist of bouncing back to the Championship at the first attempt.

That is not the case 12 months on.

The stable, quiet off-season Dickov craved so much has been and gone.

And the work he has done without distractions has been very good.

The promise that he delivered after the horrendous defeat to Notts County late last season has been fulfilled.

He said experience and character were required to take Rovers to the next level.

And he has delivered on that.

It is hard to fail to be impressed by the names he has managed to bring into the club, the majority of which know what a promotion campaign is all about.

The problem of the lack of a reliable goalscorer has been met with the arrival of Andy Williams, who netted 22 times last season at the same level. His place in the team remains a work in progress but the signs are promising.

He will undoubtedly be a key man for the club this season. If he fires, the team that was crying out for someone of his ilk last season should flourish.

The lack of depth has been addressed somewhat, if not entirely. And it has been done by both design and accident.

Dany N’Guessan’s versatility is likely to exploited during the campaign and there are plenty of options in midfield.

And then there is the further development of young players like Harry Middleton, Mitchell Lund and Billy Whitehouse, all of which look capable of playing a part in first team life.

So Rovers go from the unknown to the expected. They are expected to push hard for at least a play-off spot.

League One looks set to be at least as competitive as it was last season. It will take strength and consistency to not get caught in the mix.

A top six finish was not a million miles off last season and Rovers look to be a stronger outfit than they were then.

The signs point to a good season ahead.

Prediction: 5th