Doncaster Rovers: Darren Ferguson explains back-to-basics tactics

Darren Ferguson
Darren Ferguson
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Darren Ferguson has explained the changes he has been working on as Doncaster Rovers continue their back-to-basics approach.

The last two games have seen Rovers somewhat forego their possession-based approach and desire to play out from the back.

Making clearances and getting the ball forward more quickly has become the order of the day.

And Ferguson says the shift in focus will remain for a few weeks yet – largely due to the worsening state of pitches in League One.

“The change is quite subtle really in terms of perhaps not playing out from the goalkeeper at the back because the possibility of mistakes being made, for example,” Ferguson told The Star.

“The work we’ve done this week has been more about players finding space quicker in order for us to play forward quicker.

“That doesn’t mean it’s long ball stuff. It could be a five yard pass rather than a 50 yard pass.

“It’s things like that and then getting a balance between the two.

“If teams for example want to go right up against us we’ll be looking to turn them quicker.

“You have to play to your strengths so if there’s space in behind the back line you have to utilise it. Or if the opposition drop deep you have to play between them or down the sides.

“That never really changes. It’s just now about getting the right balance.

“Certainly I feel that playing out from the back might go away for the moment because, our pitch included, it’s a struggle to do that.”

Rovers head to a Southend United side this weekend who have a particularly poor playing surface.

And Ferguson says he has noticed a trend among most League One clubs.

“Because we haven’t got the pristine pitches of the leagues above, I’m seeing it going from back to front a lot,” he said.

“Even watching Blackburn and Wigan last weekend, two fantastic footballing teams, that was the case.

“I think it’s about eliminating risk as much as you can.

“It doesn’t mean we just hoof it because that’s not what we’re about.

“But certainly Saturday is a good example of having to play the conditions.”