Countdown to Next Match
by Rich Colby
Rovers will be looking to follow up their first home victory since March with a League Cup tie under the lights at Craven Cottage. The games are coming thick and fast for Paul Dickov’s men, and they’ll want that to continue against the team who they haven’t faced for 17 years.
The Cottagers treacherous start to the season cost manager Felix Magath his job last week; they’ll have Kit Symons in caretaker charge for this one. They mustn't be underestimated though. They are still a league above Rovers and will be favorites to win the tie with the riches they still have in store following relegation from the Premier League. Former England international Scott Parker will pull the strings in midfield, and he's my man to watch for them.
Rovers enjoyed a bit of a goal party at the weekend against Chesterfield, and I’d expect the side to remain the same baring one or two minor changes. Harry Forrester is available again following his two game ban. He will probably start from the bench. Curtis Main and Rob Jones remain Rovers only injury doubts.
Paul Dickov will be content to be the underdog in this fixture. Although there is likely to be a different feeling in the air following Felix Magath's departure from Fulham, they may still take some time to find their confidence. Rovers will be desperate to find victory at the Cottage not only to boost the bank balance a little, but also with the chance of a bumper tie in Round 4.
Come on you reds!
Overall record Vs Fulham: P37 / W10 / D10 / L 17
by Rich Colby
Another Saturday in South Yorkshire sees Rovers face high flying Chesterfield at the Keepmoat Stadium. The hosts form has been patchy at best so far this season, but Rovers went a little way into stopping the rot with a draw against Crawley on Tuesday evening.
Rovers have no new fresh injury concerns. Harry Forrester will serve the second of his two match ban. The midfield master was sent off for the second time this season last Saturday against Bristol City. Curtis main remains sidelined, as does club captain Rob Jones.
Chesterfield seem to have had a season exactly the opposite to Rovers so far. Confidence is flowing through the side, and there is extra incentive for striker Eoin Doyle to well at the Keepmoat Stadium. The Spireites hit man aims to score his third hat-trick in successive matches, a feat only seven other men have ever produced in the football league. Obviously, he will be the man to watch for the opposition.
Rovers are badly in need of a boost to kick start their season again. And what better way than to defeat some local rivals on a Saturday afternoon?
Come on you reds!
Overall record Vs Chesterfield P 90/W 26/D 29/L 35
The VSC met with the club recently and the most important point on both our agendas was our fan engagement programme 'In Rovers We Trust'. The upheaval in the summer is now out of the way, the club has a squad that looks pretty much complete, and we have appointed a Chairman to oversee all club issues. It was very encouraging from our newly appointed Chairman, David Blunt, to read that, "I'm also keen to invigorate ‘In Rovers We Trust’, and it is now time to step up our approach.
As most of you are aware IRWT has delivered a range of successful projects since the club and the VSC introduced this programme a couple of seasons ago. IRWT has received international acclaim for its broad reach and a desire to achieve results that reflect what our club values most; that is the supporters are at the heart of all that we do!
It was apparent from our meeting that we both feel the same way, that now is the right time to push forward and we have set ourselves some ambitious targets for the next few weeks. We also have some game changing ideas that will need a lot of thought and consideration and which may take some considerable time to reach fruition. But that’s for another day.
To begin with we’re covering territory that we began with all those months ago. We've agreed another survey to attempt to 'test the water' and see how people feel about their experiences as a Doncaster Rovers supporter; we'd like to emphasise the positives and then try to eliminate the negatives. When we first began we set up a couple of fan panels but they had a short shelf life, so we’d like to try that again. Furthermore we shall be looking at the events that impact on supporters and help to create a satisfactory outcome for those involved.
So, our short term aims will be:
• New IRWT Survey
o Where are we?
o What does it mean to supporters?
o What should be the priorities?
• Fan Panels
o Encourage new participants
o Match day atmosphere, what can we achieve?
o Ticket pricing and match day promotion, how can we help?
• Consultation with supporters
o Examples would be the new scoreboard
o Can we learn lessons?
o How will it benefit DRFC supporters?
o Are there issues with moving supporters and how can we resolve that?
So, some ambitious targets to get the next phase of IRWT underway. We will need the help of all supporters and all age groups. If you would really like to help then please volunteer for the fan panels. As usual we should have our friend Mark Bradley helping out with those. For supporters who attend the ‘Meet the Owners’ events you’ll recognise him as the Sunderland supporter!
Once again we are pleased that this partnership between DRFC and the VSC delivered so much the last time we set out on this journey - the club achieved promotion and a bagful of positives - let's hope for a similar outcome once again.