VIDEO: Doncaster Rovers 0 Bradford City 1 - Match Verdict & Highlights

Doncaster's new manager Darren Ferguson before the game against Bradford City
Doncaster's new manager Darren Ferguson before the game against Bradford City
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A top six finish remains Doncaster Rovers’ target and on Friday, during his unveiling as the club’s new boss, Darren Ferguson declared he has the tools for the job.

On Saturday, on a watching brief before officially assuming control from Rob Jones, he discovered just how much those tools require sharpening - and how his toolbox may also still require some reinforcements.

Ferguson has got a big task on his hands and if he did not know the precise scale of it, which is very unlikely given the due diligence he has done on his new club, he will do after seeing Rovers slip to a fifth league defeat and fail to score in a game for the eighth time this season.

The former Peterborough United and Preston boss, who was introduced to fans before kick-off and whose presence ought to have given Doncaster’s players even greater motivation, has done his homework.

Watching Rovers’ last six games on DVD will have made him well aware he is walking into a dressing room shredded of self-belief.

He picked out the second half performance against Swindon as an example of the kind of attacking intent he hopes to see on a more regular basis under his stewardship.

Doncaster's Richard Chaplow charges down Bradford's Stephen Darby

Doncaster's Richard Chaplow charges down Bradford's Stephen Darby

But upon taking his seat to watch his new team in the flesh for the first time, Ferguson barely had time to draw breath before seeing them go a goal behind inside the first minute in incredibly sloppy fashion - Devante Cole’s close range finish, latching on to a flicked on long throw, ultimately proving the difference between the two sides.

While some of those DVDs may have proved to be fairly scary viewing, Doncaster’s derby day setback against the Bantams was far from X-rated.

Rovers at least dug in and kept on going, after recovering from a woeful start to the game.

But it also provided an almost perfect showcase of a team horribly low on confidence, conviction and composure; it was the kind of distinctly middle of the road performance that feels like it has been stuck on repeat for some time now.

Rover's Richie Wellens foils  Bradford's  Devante Cole with his perfectly timed challenge

Rover's Richie Wellens foils Bradford's Devante Cole with his perfectly timed challenge

The way Doncaster started the game was so bad it was almost beyond belief - and perhaps reflected last week’s far from ideal build-up, as the club became gripped with speculation and uncertainty.

Not only did they concede after just 45 seconds, Cole gratefully prodding home after Lee Evans’ throw had been flicked on by Rory McArdle, but they spent the first quarter of the game continually playing each other into bother and surrendering possession for fun.

Watching on, Ferguson would have been well within his rights to think ‘what on earth have I got myself into here?’.

But lifted by Keshi Anderson’s very evident enthusiasm and the wiliness of Richie Wellens in a deep-lying midfield role, Rovers finally began to wrestle some initiative back and came within a controversial decision of levelling matters.

Doncaster's James Coppinger battles with Bradford's Lee Evans

Doncaster's James Coppinger battles with Bradford's Lee Evans

Richard Chaplow’s left wing corner was not dealt with by City and Anderson’s shot came down on the line off the crossbar before referee Dean Whitestone correctly ruled that the on-loan Crystal Palace striker had used his hand to then force the ball over the line.

Rovers argued that the ball had already crossed the line and that the linesman had indicated as much - but an incensed Anderson was booked for his troubles.

The incident sparked some life into the hosts but it was Bradford who went closer to extending their lead, Gary Liddle heading a chance just over and Kyel Reid twice going close from distance.

Anderson appealed for a penalty on the stroke of half time when he went down under the challenge of goalkeeper Ben Williams but the referee was not interested.

Rovers began the second period with a bit more spring in their step, with Chaplow seeing an attempt blocked after ghosting into the box.

At the other end Tony McMahon curled a free kick on the angle of the box inches wide.

Doncaster's Oscar Gobern battles with Bradford's Reece Burke

Doncaster's Oscar Gobern battles with Bradford's Reece Burke

The Bantams were more than happy now to sit back and protect their lead, and they did so in resolute fashion.

Andy Williams, who again struggled to get into the game, saw a shot on the turn saved by his namesake Ben before substitute Nathan Tyson, back after two months out, also saw an effort go just wide after being played in by Anderson.

MacKenzie, who scored for Bradford in the corresponding fixture last season, just failed to get up high enough to head home a late corner and Oscar Gobern, a somewhat surprise starter, fizzed a shot wide in stoppage time.

The defeat left Rovers second bottom in the table and Ferguson with plenty to think about. The size of the job just became a whole lot clearer.

Rovers: Stuckmann 6, McCullough 5, MacKenzie 5, Butler 5 (Taylor-Sinclair 18, 5), Evina 6, Coppinger 5 (Middleton 81), Wellens 6, Gobern 5, Chaplow 5 (Tyson 65), Williams 5, Anderson 6. Subs not used: Marosi, Stewart, N’Guessan, Forrester.

Bradford City: Williams 6, Darby 6, McArdle 6, Burke 6, Meredith 6, McMahon 6, Liddle 6, Evans 6, Reid 6 (Marshall 75), Davies 6 (Hanson 62), Cole 7. Subs not used: Jones, N Clarke, Knott, Leigh, Mottley-Henry.

Attendance: 8,410

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