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by The Rovers Review

Ferguson thinks Rovers can be successful against an Oxford United with a poor home record – if they keep organised.

After recently making his return to the team, Matty Blair has been ruled out for this weekend’s clash against Oxford, after straining his calf muscle. Alfie May will make a return, but won’t be able to start, so instead, he’ll bolster Ferguson’s options on the bench.

After beating Scunthorpe United 3-0 last weekend, Ferguson believes that that is the foundation to build on going forward,
“It just gives the players belief, but it’s just about being consistent now and that’s the hardest thing to do in any league for any team. The one that is the most consistent is generally the one that’s more successful.”

Previewing Oxford, Ferguson thinks that their home form could be a weakness,
“A little bit ahead of us, but they haven’t won at home for five games. They’re very good footballing team. Possession based team who will try and play through thirds.
“We’ll have to make sure we’re very well organised because they have some very good individuals.”

One of those players will be one of Doncaster’s very own Alex Mowatt – who’s currently on loan from Barnsley – as well a Wes Thomas who scored in their last league match against Southend which helped United earn a point away from home.

Rovers do have a narrow edge on the form table going into this game as they have picked up 11 points from 8 games, whereas Oxford have picked up 9 points from 8 games – averaging 1.3 points-per-game.

You’ll have to go as far back to 2004, just before James Coppinger signed for Rovers, when both of these sides last met. The match on March 2004 finished with a goalless draw at the Kassam Stadium. Rovers’ last win against Oxford came in September 2003 where they were 2-0 victors at Belle Vue after goals from Tim Ryan and Paul Green.
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Darren Ferguson has said that he wants to progress through to the third round of the FA Cup by defeating Scunthorpe United this Sunday.

There's positive team news for Ferguson as midfield duo, Jordan Houghton and Ben Whiteman, who have recently suffered minor knocks, now have a clean bill of health. This isn’t going to prevent Ferguson from picking a competitive team, “I’ll pick what I think is my strongest team on the day. It’s a game we want to win, it’s a game we want to get through."

Scunthorpe previously defeated Northampton in the first round, which came as part of 5 consecutive wins and an undefeated November for Graham Alexanders men.
“[They’re] very good. They’ve got a good squad that know what they’re doing – regardless of the personnel,” said Ferguson.
“They have one or two players who can change a game very quickly, so they’ve got some good individuals buts they all know what they’re doing as a team.”

This will be the third encounter between Rovers and Scunthorpe this season, with them previously meeting in the Checkatrade Trophy on the 31st October. That match ended in a 1-1 draw after Liam Mandeville scored in the first half, before being penned back by a second-half strike from Clayton Lewis.

Prior to that the last time the Iron came to the Keepmoat Stadium was earlier on in the season, where Scunthorpe was victorious as Lee Novak’s 10th minute goal was the only thing to separate both sides that Summers afternoon.

The last time Rovers did beat Scunthorpe was in May 2015 at the Keepmoat, where they triumphed 5-2.
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by The Rovers Review

Darren Ferguson is confident that his team will get a reaction following their midweek defeat away at Wigan.

Rovers will be without striker Andy Williams after he broke his ankle in his brief appearance in the loss against Wigan midweek, leaving him sidelined for an estimated three to four months.
On Rovers’ striker injury mini-crisis Ferguson said: “Unfortunately, we’ve had bad injuries in that area of the pitch, clearly Willo is added to that; Kiwomya not being fit, Alfie May having to have an operation, Mandeville’s in-between and Beestin’s in-between so we haven’t got an out-and-out number nine.”

Rovers finish off November at home to MK Dons and, after Tuesday nights defeat, Ferguson is delighted to return back to the Moat,
“We’re back at home, I’m pleased about that! I believe we’ll get a reaction and it’s a game I feel we can win, obviously, but I do feel we’ll get a reaction from Tuesday.”

MK have endured a fairly inconsistent start to League One. leaving them right in the middle of the division in 13th position. As of late they have only won one league game out of their last eight, whereas Rovers have won three out of their last eight.

The last time these two teams met was at Stadium MK, where Rovers fell to a three-nil defeat. The last time they visited the Keepmoat it was a goalless draw in October 2014.
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by The Rovers Review

Rovers face one of their biggest tests this season as they travel to promotion favourites Wigan Athletic for a midweek encounter.

Ferguson has talked about lately his struggles in picking a bench for games after leaving the likes of Issam Ben Khemis, Alfie Beestin and Craig Alcock off the bench while also not being able to start Ben Whiteman, but hemay opt to freshen things up,
"I'll assess them and see how we are [after Fleetwood], I've certainly got the options to freshen it up because I'm getting bodies back."

The biggest hurdle for Rovers - who previously drew 0-0 in their last match vs Fleetwood - is going to be penetrating Wigan's goal. Wigan has the best defensive team in the division having only shipped 11 goals from their 17 league games played.  Rovers are also averaging 1.1 points away from home while the Latics are impressively achieving 2.2 points-per-game at home.

Rovers will also have to keep their wits about themselves to keep out Wigan's top goal scorer, Nick Powell, who has scored 7 goals so far this term for the Latics.

One particular edge that Rovers may, in fact, have over Wigan is their recent success against them. In April 2016 Rovers beat Wigan 3-1, just a few weeks before Rovers were relegated and Wigan were promoted.

Prior to that, Rovers previously drew 0-0 at the DW Stadium in August 2015. Rovers haven't actually lost to Wigan since their 4-1 defeat in April 1996.
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by The Rovers Review

Darren Ferguson is wary of a tough run of fixtures ahead, starting with a visit to an energetic Fleetwood Town.

There are no new fresh injury concerns for the Scotsman, who will have Niall Mason back available after missing the Rotherham game through a minor injury.

After dropping two points at the weekend following a late injury-time goal conceded, Ferguson doesn't think that's affected the teams' morale,
"We're in a good place at the moment, we have a lot of belief and we take that to Saturday's game."

Uwe Rosler's Fleetwood Town last year were in contention for promotion to the Championship, and after a fairly inconsistent start the season Town now sit in 9th position, but Ferguson doesn't think it's going to be an easy game.
"They are a very energized team, quite a young team and they play with a three at the back, quite a flexible team in the way they play," he said.
"I like the way they play, the managers put a lot of energy into them and it's always tough up there you know you look at the run of games that we've got coming up and there's some tough matches and this is the start of that run.
"It [Fleetwood] is a hard place to go there's never an easy game there. It will be a tough game; we know that they've got some good pace up front."

Fleetwood, statistically, has one of the best offensive teams in the league as they've scored 27 in their last 17 games; they're three goals behind the league's top-scoring team, Rotherham United. However, Rosler's team are one of the worst defending ones, conceding 26 goals in 17 games. Only Northampton, Bristol Rovers and Oldham have conceded more.
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