If Doncaster Rovers are to end a win-less run at home dating back to March against Crawley Town tonight, then scoring the first goal of the game could well prove to be pivotal.
It has become a theme so far this season.
In every game Rovers have scored first, they have gone on to win it (Yeovil, York, Colchester, Watford).
Only in one game when Rovers have conceded first, have they not lost it (Preston).
So it’s no coincidence that Paul Dickov yesterday stressed the need for his side to make a solid start, concentrate and give themselves a base against the Red Devils this evening.
Dickov said: “It’s one of the many things we’ve spoken about leading into this game - and that’s giving yourself a chance and managing the game properly to make sure you stay in it.
“I still believe that with the likes of Coppinger, Bennett, Forrester, Tyson, Robinson and Wellens, we’ve got players that over the course of 90 minutes will create chances.
“So it’s so important that, stating the obvious, you don’t lose that first goal and you try and get it yourself. But if we do concede the first goal we manage to stay in the game and give ourselves a fighting chance.
“Going back to the game against Oldham, and especially on Saturday, we didn’t do that.
“Concentration is key for us,” he added. “The second goal on Saturday was comical, we all know that, although I wasn’t laughing at the time.
“But the first goal was even more disappointing because that was something that we had worked on a lot on Friday.
“The same thing happened against Oldham, when they scored from a wide free kick. That was something we’d worked on.
“You’re wanting players to retain information but if you go out and conceded from something that you’ve worked on four minutes into one game and 13 minutes into another game, you’re not giving yourself that fighting chance that we’re talking about.”
Rovers are waiting on scans on Rob Jones’ hamstring injury, with Jamie McCombe ready to deputise - although Dickov may also consider shifting Reece Wabara back to centre back and recalling Liam Wakefield at right back. Dean Furman, Marc De Val and Nathan Tyson are battling to replace the suspended Harry Forrester, who Dickov confirmed had been fined for his second red card in three games.