Doncaster Rovers: To start or not to start? Ferguson’s tough choice over Liam Mandeville role

Liam Mandeville scored one and set up two after coming off the bench for Rovers at Exeter City
Liam Mandeville scored one and set up two after coming off the bench for Rovers at Exeter City
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Darren Ferguson admits he faces a quandary over the best way to use Liam Mandeville following his game-changing cameo performance in Doncaster Rovers’ win at Exeter City.

Mandeville came off the bench to score the equaliser at St James’ Park before setting up another two goals for John Marquis as Rovers came away 3-1 winners from a game in which they struggled.

Boss Ferguson says the 19-year-old did enough to warrant a starting place in the home clash with Hartlepool United on Saturday.

But he cannot help feeling Mandeville may be most potent when used as an impact substitute.

“Perhaps that is the thing to do with him, bring him on in games,” Ferguson told The Star.

“I think even at the start of the season he had an impact coming off the bench.

“I’m not saying he won’t start against Hartlepool. He may very well do.

“If he did that every week then my job would be easy, he’d be playing.

“He was outstanding when he came on.”

READ MORE Analysis and video highlights of Exeter City 1 Doncaster Rovers 3

Ferguson praised the Academy graduate for his impact and for his reaction to criticism of the performances he turned in after Andy Williams was ruled out with a long term injury last month.

He said: “He’s answered a question.

“He was a real bright spark for us. In the last three games he has shown real improvement.

“I like the lad. He’s got a good personality about him.

“He looks stronger physically, he was more aggressive.

“It was a great header for his goal and the two assists were excellent.

“I was delighted for him and his team mates should be thankful that he came on and did that.”

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