John Buckley: Big game atmosphere can bring best out of Rovers

I've just got a feeling this game on Saturday could be very open.

Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 5:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 15th December 2016, 1:00 pm
Big miss: James Coppinger

Rovers will be keen to make amends for the defeat at Plymouth and Darren Ferguson does not know any other way than to send his team out on the front foot.

But I expect Grimsby Town to come here and have a right go too. They’re going along quite nicely under Marcus Bignot.

The fact they’re bringing 4,000 fans should only add to the occasion - and I expect a big-game atmosphere to get the best out of our lads.

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There might be 50 miles between Doncaster and Grimsby but there’ll be a real derby-day feel at the Keepmoat Stadium this weekend and I’m looking forward to it - even though derby matches aren’t what they used to be.

Back when I was playing you used to get kicked senseless for the first 15 minutes and it was all about which team handled that the best! You went out onto the pitch expecting someone to come right through you.

Nowadays you just can’t get away that and the mentality has totally changed. Nevertheless, I’m expecting a good, open game.

James Coppinger will be a huge miss for Rovers. The most obvious change is for Liam Mandeville is to play a little deeper and Andy Williams to come back into the side - although Darren Ferguson might consider changing the system.

Perform like we did against Hartlepool and Leyton Orient, and there’s only one winner.

Charity bet: Rovers to win, both teams to score