Doncaster Rovers: Darren Ferguson hopes to lay derby demons to rest at Scunthorpe United
Darren Ferguson hopes his in-form Doncaster Rovers side can help lay some derby demons to rest at Scunthorpe United tonight.
Almost two years on, the Scot winces at the thought of his last visit to Glanford Park - an insipid 2-0 defeat en route to sliding out of League One.
Liam Mandeville is likely to be the only name on the teamsheet this evening who was in the 18 that night, highlighting the wind of change that has blown through the Keepmoat Stadium since.
And Ferguson is confident his new-look Rovers, who are now unbeaten in their last seven league games, will put on a significantly better show for the fans making the short journey along the M180.
“The last time we went there, it was one of the worst nights I’ve had as a manager,” said Ferguson.
“It was an horrendous night.
“I wouldn’t bring it up with the players but for me it was a bad one. It was a horrible night.
“It’s one that still angers me actually.
“If you go there and get a result it can certainly get rid of that one.
“We obviously want to be putting on a better performance for the fans than that, and I’m sure we will.
“We just want to go there and try and get the right result.
“We’ll take a couple of thousand fans, I think, so it’ll be a great atmosphere.
“The one thing we’re going to have to do is compete like we did in the second half against Shrewsbury, and then find space and play the way we want to play.”
A victory tonight would lift Rovers up to tenth in the table but winning will be no mean feat against an Iron outfit in fourth and eager to bounce back from a surprise home defeat to Gillingham.
This will be the fourth meeting between the two sides this season. Scunthorpe won the reverse league fixture 1-0 but Rovers triumphed 3-0 in the FA Cup and on penalties in the Checkatrade Trophy.
“It’s a big game,” said Ferguson.
“It’s one we’ve looked at and said: ‘Right, if we get the right result we do go tenth’.
“That would put us in a very good place and in a very good position.
“It’s a derby so it’s a game where you just concentrate on the result.
“It’ll be a tough game. They’re a very experienced League One team.
“I think it’s going to be a very tight match. It’s a very hard ground to go to - tight pitch and the fans are right on you. We’re going to have to compete, there’s no doubt about that.”