It was so well documented that Jordan Houghton was returning to Doncaster Rovers that the official confirmation went massively under the radar yesterday.
The Chelsea midfielder’s arrival for a second loan spell took a back seat to the news involving new left back Harry Toffolo and injured left back Danny Andrew.
But at Cantley Park, Rovers’ training base, Houghton’s return provided a genuine fillip ahead of tomorrow’s intriguing tussle with a Peterbough United side that has won four out of four in League One so far.
“It was a real lift for everyone because he did so well for us last season,” said boss Darren Ferguson. “The boy is a really good player and he’s a great lad.
“I feel that him coming into the club certainly has given the lads a boost - not that we needed one.
“He trained very well, he looks good,” he added.
“So I’ve got one or two decisions I’ve got to make for the weekend.
“The performance on Tuesday night [at Grimsby Town in the Checkatrade Trophy] pleased me in many aspects - and it gives me decisions to make which I want.
“Obviously we hope we get a far better performance on Saturday than we did last week [in the 2-0 defeat to AFC Wimbledon], which I’m sure we will.”
Houghton, like Andrew, suffered a dreaded cruciate knee ligament injury and had initially not been expected to be available for Doncaster until mid-September.
But he is in contention to feature this weekend.
“Yes, he could start,” said Ferguson.
“He’s only played 30 minutes and 60 minutes and Chelsea wanted to get another game into him.
“But once we both spoke, myself and Chelsea, we felt the best thing - because they couldn’t get a friendly this week - was for him to come here.
“I would have to be careful with him doing a full ninety but if you start people sometimes the adrenalin gets you through. But I know I’ve got to be careful.”
Houghton and Toffolo became Rovers’ seventh and eight additions of the summer.
“We feel that we’ve got a half decent squad,” said Ferguson. “We’ll see where we go with it, but it’s early days.
“We’ve done all right so far. We should have won the two home games, we’ve had over 35 shots on goal. We need to make sure our performance is good on Saturday.”