Miller relishing Doncaster’s ‘massive’ clash with Barrow

CONFIDENT AND COMPOSED: Dons head coach Tony Miller believes his side will topple table-topping Barrow at the Keepmoat on Sunday.
CONFIDENT AND COMPOSED: Dons head coach Tony Miller believes his side will topple table-topping Barrow at the Keepmoat on Sunday.

TONY Miller insists the Dons must emerge victorious from Sunday’s top of the table clash with Barrow if they are to have any chance of winning the Championship One title, writes Liam Hoden.

The Dons welcome the table topping Cumbrian side to the Keepmoat knowing the result will have a huge say in the final destination of the league crown.

Miller told the Free Press: “This is a massive game for this club and we’re really confident of getting a result from it.

“Barrow are a top side and there’s no doubting that because they’ve only lost one game so far.

“But we’re very confident of our own abilities, especially at home, and I’m sure we’ll get something.”

The Dons are a maximum of three wins away from securing promotion to the Co-operative Championship and Miller admits attention is beginning to turn towards silverware.

He said: “Promotion is our number one priority of course.

“But we know there is a chance for us to do better than that and win this league.

“It’ll be difficult – we’ve got six games left and you’d probably think that we’ve got to win all six to win the league.

“But we’re definitely capable of doing that as long as we take each game at a time.

“The winner of this league will come from the top three sides now.

“We’ve got Barrow and then we’ve got Workington in the game after.

“Both are at home, both are games we’re confident we can win and we’ll take a massive step towards top spot if we do that.”

There is a certain sense of a desire for revenge from members of the Dons camp following the 25-8 defeat at Barrow in March.

Talismanic stand-off Paul Cooke told the Free Press last month he was more disappointed with the defeats at Barrow and Workington than pleased with all the victories the Dons have picked up.

And co-owner Carl Hall is confident the Dons can do better when they renew acquaintances with Barrow this weekend.

He said: “We went up there and if I’m honest I felt we should have beat them.

“I’m clear in my mind that we’ll beat him here.

“I know the players are really looking forward to it because they know they didn’t do ourselves justice up there.

“If we can win that then we’ll go a long way towards being able to refocus our goals and trying to win the league.

“They are the top of the league at the moment and they’re the one’s we’re trying to pass.”

However, Miller is refusing to be drawn into the quest for revenge and insists plenty has changed since the last meeting.

He said: “There’s been a lot of water under the bridge since then.

“We’ve definitely improved since that game but I’m sure Barrow would say they have too.

“They’re a very good side with some excellent players and that was the case on that day as much as it will be on Sunday.”

Mick Butterfield is an injury doubt for Sunday’s game with a knee problem but Miller is confident he will be able to call upon the influential full back.

Dean Colton will replace top-scoring winger Tom Hodson who has been ruled out for the rest of the season after breaking his thumb.

Miller said: “It’s a big blow losing Tom because of how dangerous a player he has been.

“His form has been superb this season, you can see that with the amount of points he’s scored in both tries and kicking.

“Dean is a more than adequate replacement for him and we’re confident he can make a big impact.”

Kicking duties will be assumed by either Cooke or Lee Waterman.

Sunday’s game – which kicks off at 3pm – has been dedicated to the charity Autism Plus.