DONCASTER ROVERS: Win back the fans, Rovers

Badly missed: Rovers hope skipper Rob Jones will return after injury at Portsmouth. PICTURE: STEVE PARKIN
Badly missed: Rovers hope skipper Rob Jones will return after injury at Portsmouth. PICTURE: STEVE PARKIN
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SUCCESSIVE gates of less than 6,000 have disappointed Doncaster Rovers officials considering the fact that the club were fifth in League One when they entertained Crewe nine days ago.

“There is no doubt that times are hard for a lot of people and unless you are a season ticket holder it is a big outlay having to pay to watch two homes games in five days,” said Supporters’ Club chairman Len South.

“I don’t think the fact that we lost against Crewe helped the gate for the Bournemouth game last Saturday. Our patchy home form this season is certainly not helping attract more supporters.

“There is not a lot of money around and some people are not going to come and watch us get beat every week. I’m not saying that is the case, but we have lost four home games in total this season.

“I still think that we are doing okay but our home form is nowhere near that of our away form.

“We have lost more at home than we have away so far this season and you are not going to build up your home support in that situation.

“I’m just wondering if it’s the pressure of playing at home which is getting to the players. If that is the case then clearly they have got to relax a bit more.

“The atmosphere has been a bit flat for the last two home games and the stadium has been quiet. But that is because the supporters have had little to cheer at times.

“The fans get behind the team the best that they can but it is very difficult for them to do that if the team aren’t playing well. It is up to the players to give the fans something to shout about.

“I know that we aren’t going to win every game we play, but whatever the result the fans want to see the team giving it their all.

“I don’t think that injuries have helped. We lost centre-back Jamie McCombe earlier in the season and David Cotterill and Kyle Bennett have both missed recent games as have people like Shelton Martis and skipper Rob Jones, who is a big loss when he doesn’t play.

“We’ve only got a small squad and as manager Dean Saunders has said, and has been proved right, we only need a few injuries to affect the team.

“The players don’t go out and deliberately lose a game and I am sure that they are as upset as the fans when they do.

“We are still doing all right and I’m quite happy with the way that we are playing but we need to get our home form right and get some wins under our belt which will hopefully bring back the missing fans.”