Dons on the spot to close gap at the top

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DONCASTER will be looking to give themselves a confidence-booster at Spotland tomorrow at the start of their most testing month of the season.

In addition to the game against Rochdale, the Dons have to visit runaway leaders Swinton and promotion rivals Keighley - who have all beaten them at home - and South Wales. Their only game at home in July is against bottom club Gateshead. The Dons have climbed from the bottom three to the edge of the top four on the back of four successive wins and team boss Tony Miller is anxious that his charges maintain their improved form during what he sees as a defining month.

“We are sixth but we have a game in hand over most of the sides above us including second-placed Workington,” said Miller.

“We have the likes of Workington and Whitehaven - who are also just above us - to play at home in August and if we are still there or thereabouts then not only would I fancy our chances of a top-four finish - which was our target at the start of the season - but also finishing as high as second or third. The advantage of finishing second is that you only need to win one game in the play-offs and you are in the finals.

“Even if you finish third you get a second bite of the cherry if you lose in the third round so it is a big advantage if you can finish in either position.

“We know it is going to be a tough month, and it will certainly be a test tomorrow. They have got some good players and a bit of pace and we know that they like to play an expansive game.

“But I honestly think that on our day we have a chance against anybody if we can complete the majority of our sets, front up in defence and get our kicking game going.

“We are coming to the business end of the season and you need to be playing well and I think we are.”