Doncaster Rovers: Difficult choice ahead for Ferguson

Keshi Anderson
Keshi Anderson

The old mantra goes ‘don’t change a winning team’ – but it is not quite that simple for Darren Ferguson.

The Doncaster Rovers boss stood by the wisdom last weekend at Blackpool, opting for the same starting XI that saw off Stalybridge Celtic in the FA Cup the week before.

Another win later, Ferguson is faced with the choice of sticking or twisting.

Sticking would see players such as Keshi Anderson and Craig Alcock again named on the bench.

It is clear that Alcock is not at the Keepmoat to sit on the bench. Ferguson did not sign him with an intention to do that, nor did Sheffield United allow the loan for him to not play.

Alcock would likely come in for Mitchell Lund, who would be unlucky to lose his place after solid performances in the 3-5-2 system that has produced a run of clean sheets.

Facing a tougher battle than Alcock to get in the side is Anderson. While he has stood out as Rovers’ most exciting player since his loan switch from Crystal Palace, Anderson is battling with form players for his place.

Nathan Tyson and Andy Williams have gelled into a potent partnership since Anderson’s injury.

And with the latter finally hitting the goal trail, it would be a brave man to risk disrupting that by making a change, even if it is for impressive striker Anderson.

What Ferguson seems almost certain to persist with is the 3-5-2 formation, given the three consecutive clean sheets and wins it has helped delivered.

Given the attack-minded approach Rovers have adopted under Ferguson, Saturday’s clash with Rochdale at the Keepmoat should be an entertaining affair.

Rochdale boss Keith Hill is known for his own attacking, attractive football. The former Barnsley chief has switched between 4-2-3-1, 4-1-4-1 and 4-3-3 formations during what has been an inconsistent start to the season.

Dale have failed to win in their last seven league matches, undoing the good start they had to the campaign.

Attacking midfielder Peter Vincenti has been their main source of firepower this season but has not scored in his last five appearances after a run of seven goals in nine games.