Barnsley build-up: Rovers must re-discover their mojo to stop short January blues

Rovers have missed the energy of Dean Furman in midfield.
Rovers have missed the energy of Dean Furman in midfield.

If Doncaster Rovers could have cherry-picked a game to help cure their FA Cup hangover, Barnsley at home would be right up there.

Staff, players and fans alike - and no doubt the club’s accountant - had every right to be crying into their beer after defeat at Bristol City cost Doncaster a £300,000 payday.

It was a big missed opportunity for Rovers, the sort capable of deflating a dressing room that was buzzing over the festive period.

But this weekend’s local derby could prove to be the perfect pick-me-up and help Rovers kick any signs of the January blues.

Doncaster’s performances over the Christmas period fostered genuine hopes of a new year play-off push. They were characterised by a relentless work ethic and boundless energy.

But to maintain the confidence and momentum generated during that run, Rovers need a positive result against the Tykes this weekend.

In the 2-2 draw at Oldham, and in Tuesday night’s replay at Ashton Gate, Rovers failed to re-produce the sort of intensity and solidity that served them so well over the holiday period.

Dean Furman’s departure has disrupted Doncaster’s flow and it has been rather a case of square pegs in round holes in the last two games, trying to cover for the South African’s absence.

A switch to 4-4-2 would be no surprise tomorrow. But regardless of the system, Rovers must rediscover their festive mojo - and stop any cup hangover spreading to the league.