Doncaster Rovers: Ferguson’s satisfaction over Boxing Day scrap

Tommy Rowe suffered a hamstring injury in the win at Notts County
Tommy Rowe suffered a hamstring injury in the win at Notts County

He may pride himself on sending his teams out to play high tempo attacking football but Darren Ferguson also loves to see them have a good scrap.

And he admits the burgeoning battling qualities of his Doncaster Rovers have him beaming with pride heading into the tough winter months.

Consecutive wins over Grimsby Town and Notts County have both been delivered with a dose of fight and industry rather than cohesion and flair.

But Ferguson says that is exactly what he wanted to see with the elements set to play an increasing role in matches over the next couple of months.

“It was more about the battle and the determination,” Ferguson said.

“The bitty part of the game rather than the fluency side that we like to get into the game.

“That’s going to be difficult when the pitches start turning and they start to get heavy.

“We knew it was going to be a real fight.”

Back-to-back wins also brought consecutive clean sheets for only the second time this season.

Ferguson has called for his side to shut out the opposition on a more regular basis but admits it is a balancing act with his determination to keep scoring plenty of goal.

He said: “The clean sheets have been spoken about a lot but that is two in a row now.

“It’s key. It’s going to be vitally important and we know we’ve not had enough of them.

“We need to make sure we maintain the fluency in our game and still be that attacking force we can be.

“We had the clearer chances against Notts County.

“Obviously it helps massively if you start getting clean sheets.”

Rovers will assess the fitness of midfielder Tommy Rowe after he was forced off with a hamstring complaint during Monday’s game.

Mathieu Baudry was taken off at half time due to the affects of illness.

Ferguson said: “Tommy Rowe just felt a bit of a shooting pain in his hamstring.

“The physio did the right thing and said just get him off because it might have gone We’ll assess that.

“Baudry was really touch and go whether he would start.

“He had a really bad illness, he didn’t get much sleep at all the night before.

“He wanted to give it a go and he’s managed to get through a half.”