Darren Ferguson: More ‘Doncaster-like’ performance required against Fleetwood + ‘This is different to 2016 - but we’ve got to prove it’

Darren Ferguson
Darren Ferguson
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Darren Ferguson has called on his players to show their true colours against Fleetwood Town - and quash any comparisons with the Doncaster Rovers side that were relegated two years ago.

Rovers face the Cod Army without a win in nine games and on the back of arguably their worst performance of the season at Walsall.

Ferguson was unable to stop Rovers spiralling out of the division in 2016 as, following the turn of the year, they went 17 games in all competitions without a victory.

Amid fears that history is in danger of repeating itself, the Scot acknowledges that three points are urgently required to ‘calm down’ players and anxious supporters alike.

“That was two years ago and it was slightly different then, in the sense we were losing a lot of games then,” said Ferguson.

“We are actually managing to pick up points from some tough games.

“But I can sit here and say it’s different, we’ve got to prove that.

“I’m a positive person and I am with the players. The world can be a different place at 5.30pm on Saturday if we get that win.

“I think it would calm everyone down and that’s what is really needed at the moment.”

After acknowledging his side gave Walsall an easy ride, Ferguson hopes to see a more ‘Doncaster-like’ performance this weekend.

“First and foremost we need to get back to making sure that level of performance on Tuesday night was just a one-off,” he said.

“We need to get back to what we’ve become accustomed to seeing from Doncaster players - the fundamentals, the basics.

“We may not get perfect performances and results every week, but certainly in the last 20 months we’ve had those attributes.

“We went away from that on Tuesday night and it’s something that can’t be repeated.”

He continued: “Myself and the players have got a very good relationship and they understand exactly what I expect of them.

“For whatever reason, we went away from that a little bit on Tuesday and we’ve got to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“No one’s saying we’re going to win our last 13 games but I’ve said many times our fans expect a certain level of energy and spirit, which they’ve seen time and time again.

“They may accept then there’s going to be frailties within the team because we’re League One players.

“As long as they keep seeing that, I think they’ll always give us a chance.”

Rovers have no fresh injury concerns.

Mathieu Baudry is set to return to the squad after not being risked at Walsall.