Doncaster Rovers: Alcock lays bare the battle in League One

Craig Alcock
Craig Alcock

It is fair to say that Doncaster Rovers loanee Craig Alcock knows a thing or two about life in League One.

In the ten years since he received his first professional contract – and barring a couple of short loan spells in the early days – the versatile defender has spent all but two seasons playing in English football’s third tier.

Alcock’s experience of League One was a major driving force behind Darren Ferguson’s decision to snap him up on loan from Sheffield United las month – a deal extended to January earlier this week.

The two worked together at Peterborough United, reaching the League One play-offs in 2014 after two seasons in the Championship.

Well placed then to comment on the state of the division, Alcock believes League One has panned out as expected so far this term.

“It’s like it always is,” he told The Star. “It’s a battle.

“There’s the odd so-called big teams in it here and there and then you have the teams that start well.

“But every week it’s a grind and a battle.

“It’s about concentrating every week as much as it’s about ability.

“And it’s just being able to dig in and grind results out.”

Rovers have been much more adept at doing so in recent weeks, leading to a run of just one defeat in seven matches and a steady climb up the table.

And Alcock feels if they can string a couple of wins together, Rovers’ position will improve dramatically.

He said: “All it takes is to get two or three wins on the bounce and you can see yourself shooting up the table.

“Equally if you don’t win to two or three games you can drop.

“It just shows the level everyone is at and there is no one running away with it at the minute.”

Alcock looks set to retain his place in Rovers’ back three when they welcome struggling Crewe Alexandra to the Keepmoat tomorrow.

Victory, plus a positive goal difference swing in Rovers’ favour, could see them move into the top half of the table for the first time this season.