Doncaster Rovers: Ferguson hoping Williams will fire after latest ‘mental break’

Andy Williams could return for Rovers tonight at Scunthorpe
Andy Williams could return for Rovers tonight at Scunthorpe
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Darren Ferguson hopes his decision to leave Andy Williams out of the Doncaster Rovers side on Saturday has had the desired effect as his side travel to neighbours Scunthorpe United tonight.

Williams had scored just once in ten matches when Ferguson took charge of Rovers in October, prompting the new boss to hand the forward what he termed ‘a mental break.’ The 29-year-old soon went on a run of 11 goals in 14 matches.

Ferguson again named the striker on the bench for Saturday’s defeat to Shrewsbury Town following a run of seven games without a goal and after a handful of disappointing performances.

After admitting he is considering starting the 29-year-old at Glanford Park tonight, he hopes the second break will reignite Williams’ confidence.

“I think Andy is aware that he’s lost a bit of confidence, not too much though,” Ferguson told The Star. “I’m hopeful the mental break will have helped the lad. He’s in my thoughts for Scunthorpe.

“Andy is very emotive. He shows his feelings. That’s his way of expressing himself and everyone notices it.

“It’s something I’ve spoken to him about because he lets everyone knows how he feels.

“I was mindful when I made the decision that we still had plenty of games to go, it wasn’t a case of it just being two, even though it is a critical period.”

Ferguson also admitted he felt the need to try something different in a bid to end Rovers’ relative goal drought. They have netted just three times in their last eight games.

He said: “I want to try different things because we’re not getting enough goals.

“There’s a reason for that. Our quality in the final third has not been good enough and it’s got to change.

“So obviously different permutations could be tried.”

As well as personnel changes, Ferguson opted for a system switch for the clash with Shrewsbury. He ditched his favoured 3-5-2 formation for a 4-4-2 diamond which caused problems for the Shrews in the first half.

And he hinted he may stick with 4-4-2 against Scunthorpe tonight.

Ferguson said: “Shrewsbury played the 4-3-3 so the diamond was absolutely right. They chanced their formation three times in the first 30 minutes and what they ended up doing was matching us up with a diamond themselves.

“I have to make sure I keep my composure and pick a team based on what I see.

“It may be a diamond on Tuesday, Scunthorpe play one, or it might be another system.”

The Rovers boss says the conditions at Glanford Park will come into his thinking when selecting both system and line-up this evening.

“Tomorrow night is going to be a proper derby on a poor pitch and I have to take that into consideration,” he said.

“It’s going to be a very lively, bobbly pitch.

“It’s a tight, small little ground that is always a difficult place to go.

“We will have to match Scunthorpe in terms of energy because they’ve shown they’ve got plenty of that.”