Doncaster Rovers: Cotts: Beware a wounded animal

Welshman's warning: David Cotterill does next expect troubled Coventry to roll over for Rovers today .                                  PICTURE: STEVE UTTLEY
Welshman's warning: David Cotterill does next expect troubled Coventry to roll over for Rovers today . PICTURE: STEVE UTTLEY

YOU might think that Coventry City will be in turmoil when they take to the Ricoh Arena pitch this afternoon.

The past week has been one of the darkest in the club’s storied history, with administration and an on-going row over their future at the Ricoh.

But David Cotterill is expecting a strong backlash from the Sky Blues squad with a potential points deduction on the horizon.

Rovers’ flying Welsh winger believes Coventry’s players will have one eye on their futures between now and the end of the season.

And that presents Rovers with a wounded animal rather than a lame one, according to Cotterill.

“There’ll be a few of their players wanting to put a stamp on their careers just to make sure they get a good future,” he said.

“It’s always difficult when you’re up against a group of players playing for themselves, either to get a move or impress when there might be cuts.

“The other thing is sometimes it’s a bit of a break from all the speculation when the players actually get to play in a game.

“They can forget about the difficult times for a couple of hours and concentrate on what they do best.

“When we played Portsmouth a couple of weeks ago, everyone expected us to win comfortably but that wasn’t the case.

“Teams like that who have the threat of administration seem to think they’ve got a point to prove.

“It’s always difficult.

“Plus when Coventry came to our place earlier in the season they battered us, so we’ll be taking nothing for granted.”

On Rovers’ march towards a potential League One title win, Cotterill believes this Easter weekend is crucial to their hopes.

Following today’s trip to Coventry, Rovers welcome second placed Swindon to the Keepmoat on Monday.

“If we win these two games that should help see us over the line sooner rather than later,” the 25-year-old said.

“I hope the next three or four games will be enough for us to do it.

“We’ve set an amount of wins we think will take us over that line but we’re keeping that to ourselves.

“With us being five points clear it’s in our hands.

“But the pressure is on us, being top, and we want to win the title because it’s always been the target.

“It’s been a funny division this season, definitely one where you can take nothing for granted.

“So we’ll not be thinking we’ve done it until we have the trophy in our hands.

“We’re expected to win games now because we’re top and it’s a good expectation to have because it shows we’ve done something right.

“There’s seven games left, we’re top of the league and we want to stay there.

“We’ve got to play some of the teams around us who could cause us some problems so if we don’t win the title it’ll be our fault.”

Cotterill admits Rovers have experienced their fair share of luck so far this season, particularly in recent months when they have failed to pick up wins.

He said: “We’ve lost and expected to come off and be several points off the pace but games have gone for us.

“We’ve been lucky in that respect.

“But we’re probably the only team that has got to the top of the table with games running out and actually managed to stay there.

“There was the crazy period where it was always changing.

“Bournemouth went top, dropped to seventh and now they’re third again.

“In previous years you’ve had a few teams running away with it but it’s been a massive battle.

“Whoever wins it this year will definitely have deserved it.”