Paul Goodwin’s verdict: Rovers can take derby day frustration out on Cherries

Harry Forrester
Harry Forrester
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Tuesday night’s defeat to Leeds United might be brushed under the carpet by some people.

Personally, I’m not someone who subscribes to the belief that the Capital One Cup doesn’t matter, or that defeat was irrelevant. It wasn’t.

It sadly halted the huge momentum that Rovers went into the game with, following exceptional performances on the road at Wigan and then following their ill-fated journey to Charlton.

And it also threw up one or two tactical and personnel dilemmas which weren’t there before kick off.

Every game matters - and the nature of the defeat means that one or two doubts might just creep into the camp in the build-up to Saturday’s visit of Bournemouth. It’s Paul Dickov’s job to iron those out this week, and avoid a derby defeat hangover.

The Capital One Cup might not be a priority for Doncaster - but aspects of Tuesday’s performance will be of great concern to Dickov.

Leeds did their homework on Rovers and after a slow start their opening goal seemed almost inevitable, as Ross McCormack caused havoc between the lines.

United’s diamond formation seemed to unsettle the home side, and nobody appeared certain whose job it was to track McCormack who roamed freely behind the front two.

Paul Keegan might have been perfect for that task if his red card at the Valley, like the 3-1 scoreline, had been wiped out - and his return from suspension gives Dickov a big selection dilemma this weekend following an unconvincing display from Dean Furman.

James Coppinger’s knee injury is another inconvenience, but Mark Duffy and Harry Forrester’s second half involvement were big positives.

Duffy is in pole position to return to the side, although it’s still unclear whether his best position is out wide or through the middle.

Rovers players were hurting this week. Every game matters to them - and I expect a positive reaction this weekend.

Verdict: Home win