Doncaster Rovers F.C meeting the opposition.
After beating Leyton Orient with a fantastic performance at Prenton Park, Rovers managed to frustrate the travelling Super White Army, at Stockport County, as they fell to a 3-2 defeat.
Doncaster Rovers provide the next away challenge, on Tuesday night, as Micky Mellon’s side will look to get back to winning ways and hopefully form some consistency to push for the top seven spots come May.
Ahead of the game at the Keepmoat Stadium, I spoke to Doncaster Rovers supporter Aaron Challoner.
How long have you been supporting Doncaster? What are some of the best and worst moments that you have experienced?
My first game was a draw with Port Vale at Belle Vue in 2004. Some of my favourite moments included the Carling Cup run in 2005, knocking out Man City and Aston Villa, the Johnstone Paint Trophy final win against Bristol Rovers in 2007, beating Leeds United at Wembley Stadium in the League One playoff final in 2008 and the winning goal at Griffin Park in 2013. Worst memories were probably the majority of last season (barring beating Sunderland) and some of this season also.
After being relegated last season, Rovers are currently positioned 15th and have lost all of their last three. How would you describe the campaign so far?
Results wise it’s been a mixed campaign. If it wasn’t for the unbeaten run at the start of the season, we’d be 20th by now. But on current form, we could be heading towards 20th if we aren’t consistently careful.
How has last summer’s recruitment fared? Players such as attacking midfielder Luke Molyneux and George Miller were brought in from Hartlepool United and Barnsley respectively.
Last summer the signings on paper had positive traits. They would have ticked the boxes for what the manager wants. However the consistency of the performances of these players is what concerns me. Everytime we sack a manager or he walks to another club, we have to rebuild again with a mass exit inbound for the squad. Schofield’s process HAS to work. We cannot afford to do that whole process again.
In this January window, Doncaster have brought in Winger Todd Miller on loan from Brighton and Hove Albion until the end of the season. What are your thoughts on him?
Todd Miller is a quick and direct young winger. But his inexperience could be costly. We will see what happens in the weeks that go by.
Former Huddersfield Town boss Danny Schofield took over from Gary McSheffrey in late October. Was it the right decision to dismiss McSheffrey? What are your thoughts on Schofield so far? His playing style and the relationship he has built with supporters.
Danny’s playing style could be wonderful. It’s the modern style and many big clubs use traits of this style. Playing out from the back, quick passes and transitions from central to out wide. But we need the players that can play that style. This is still a chunk of Gary McSheffrey’s squad. It’s gonna take the summer to start to truly see what will happen but I question whether the club has the resources and financial backing currently to deliver what Danny Schofield needs.
David Blunt is the chairman of Doncaster, what are your thoughts on him? What would you like to see changed at the club in the near future?
Personally I have no problem with David Blunt. But as a chairman for a football club, unfortunately for him, his time is done in my opinion. He has overseen nine years with two relegations to League Two and only one playoff campaign in League One as well as four managers in the space of one year. We’ve had new squads every year for the past three or four years and the last couple of seasons especially, there’s been no core that have been here for longer than a season. Just the odd player or two. Both of those players are out of contract this summer and one is injured for the rest of the season. The club needs to clarify the situation with the fans. If the board is staying but they are making wholesale changes, tell the fans. If the board are receiving bids or are selling the club, tell the fans.
Miller is top scorer with nine goals and four assists in 26 games. How would you describe his playing style and who are the team’s other key players?
Miller I feel sorry for. His confidence is shot to pieces. I hope Caolan Lavery is gonna help him get back to where he was but also the statistics speak for themselves. Its great that George is still the top scorer and he can try and build on that. Ben Nelson has been our best defender but he is off for scans to see if he’s injured. Same with Biggins and he’s been a completely different player since Schofield took charge.
Where will the key battles be played out on Tuesday?
Final third is key. If Tranmere get into the right areas, they will score. We’ve conceded way too many goals. 5 goals in the last two games. Just not good enough. Midfield battles could also determine the transition in play as to who grabs control of the match.
Score prediction? The last meeting between Tranmere and Doncaster was on Boxing Day as Kane Hemmings, Kieron Morris and Paul Lewis scored in a 3-0 win for The Whites.
Tranmere and Doncaster haven’t won any of our last three games. But Mellon’s men are more likely to win especially with more injury worries for us, plus our inconsistency on and off the pitch. I’m going for another 1-0 defeat for Doncaster Rovers.
Thoughts on Tranmere? Where do you see them finishing in May?
Tranmere look like a mixed team. They signed Saunders from Bristol Rovers who is a hard working striker and they have some strong players. As seen on Boxing Day, we could be in trouble again.
Doncaster Rovers’ Keepmoat Stadium. The last time Rovers played here was in April 2013, Ronnie Moore’s side lost 1-0.