Darren Ferguson refutes the suggestion that Doncaster Rovers’ impending Carabao Cup trip to Premier League giants Arsenal has thrown them off kilter.
And the Scot has dubbed next Wednesday’s plum tie at the Emirates Stadium as ‘the least important game of the season’.
Since the third round draw was made Rovers have lost League One games at struggling AFC Wimbledon, Northampton Town and Rochdale, with a draw at home to Peterborough United and penalty shoot-out victory at Grimsby Town in the Checkatrade Trophy sandwiched in between.
Arsenal tickets went on general sale this week and Rovers are expected to be backed by a healthy following in the capital.
But Ferguson, who jokingly said he had banned the word ‘Arsenal’ at the club’s Cantley Park training ground, is certain that his players have not been distracted by the draw.
“It’s something we haven’t spoken about,” said Ferguson, speaking prior to Tuesday night’s last gasp defeat at Rochdale.
“Obviously the day after the draw it was quite lively.
“We have to deal with the logistics of the travelling and we’re now going to stay down after the Arsenal game because we’ve got to travel on to Plymouth for the Saturday.
“That was the only thing I had to deal with, the logistics of that.
“I’ve not mentioned the Arsenal game, I wouldn’t bother.
“It is the least important game this season. There’s no doubt that, because the league’s the bread and butter.
“What I would like to do, and what the players would, is go into the Arsenal game with as much confidence as possible.
“We know it’s going to be a hard game, but it’s something I’m not thinking about.”
Meanwhile, Ferguson has revealed that Danny Andrew’s recent knee operation “went as well as it possibly could”.