Doncaster Rovers: Ferguson orders men to tighten up defensively in ‘detailed’ team meeting

Darren Ferguson
Darren Ferguson
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Doncaster Rovers’ squad were this week given a detailed analysis of their season so far.

And the message from boss Darren Ferguson is pretty clear - ‘tighten up at the back’.

Rovers are in FA Cup action at Oldham Athletic today and host Port Vale in the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday night.

The gap in League Two fixtures saw the squad sit down at Cantley Park earlier this week to mull over their first 15 games.

Rovers sit third in the table and are the leading scorers in the division with 30 goals.

However, they have conceded the same amount of goals as bottom side Newport County (22).

“We have assessed it and we had a long meeting with the players on Tuesday,” said Ferguson.

“We analysed the whole period up to now - and not just ‘we’ve got this many points and scored this amount of goals’. It was really going into detail.

“We looked at the times we’ve lost goals and where we’ve lost goals.

“And there’s clear stats in there that we need to improve on.

“One clear one is that we’ve got to get more clean sheets.

“We’ve conceded far too many goals. And we’ve conceded far too many goals in the last 15 minutes of games.

“Eight from crosses too. Things like that we just need to tighten up on. And manage games when we have to, keep the belief in games when we come under the cosh.

“So we went through it very thoroughly and the players were very good in the meeting.

“We feel we should have more points and we went through that as well, why we haven’t.

“It was a good meeting.

“And it was just to remind them that we’re going along fine.

“We’ve scored a lot of goals and we look very good going forward but we’ve got to remember that we need to keep clean sheets.

He added: “All we keep doing is improving if we can.

“The stats for the last ten years of the league show that we’re about three points off where you want to be if you want to finish first.

“It might be different this year if Plymouth keep blowing everyone away - annoyingly!

“But we’ll wait and see. We’re not far off where we need to be.”

Rovers collected 10 points from a possible 15 in October but travel to Oldham today hoping to reverse a blip that has seen lose at Blackpool and drop two points at home to Wycombe Wanderers.

Ferguson has vowed to rest a few key men with one eye on next Saturday’s trip to Exeter.