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by The Rovers Review

After a deserving 1-0 win at the Keepmoat on Tuesday night against Cambridge United, Rovers look to get some momentum going, by earning a second consecutive victory v Cheltenham this Saturday. Not a lot went wrong for Rovers on Tuesday, so it's hard to pick areas for them to improve on, but one for sure is how clinical we are the box. The amount of shots we had on goal (and shots that realistically we should've taken), we should've arguably won by more than one goal. If we can make sure that we are clinical in the box, and perform like we did on Tuesday night, then I for one will be even more optimistic for the rest of the season - but it's all down to consistency now.

Ferguson still has the same dilemma to face regarding goalkeepers, after rotating Marosi and Etheridge for the past four games, but I think he'll stick with Marosi for this game, as he said that he wants to take Etheridge out of the firing line for a while. I do think Marosi is worth a shot for the next game, because he's kept a clean sheet and has been at the club for just over 2 years. Ferguson also switched from 3-5-2 to 4-4-2 when we earned our first three points of the season, so I would like to think he'll stick with the 4-4-2, because it was the best that we've played so far this season, and with Blair and Evina charging down the wings, we looked like a massive threat!

Last time we faced Cheltenham was in 2008/09 season when we beat them 3-0 in the FA cup, and last time we faced them in the league they beat us 2-1 just a year prior to the FA cup victory, so I hope that we have more of the result like we had in the FA cup this time round. Cheltenham have also had a very good start this season, since their return to the football league, under a very good manager in, Gary Johnson. They can't be taken lightly, and it's going to be a tough match, because they'll still have the momentum from promotion. They're also undefeated in their first three games of season, drawing all three of them, so hopefully we can be the team to give them their first loss of the season!

Predicted lineup v Cheltenham

Marosi; Lund, Wright, Butler, Evina; Blair, Houghton, Coppinger, Rowe; Marquis and Williams.
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by The Rovers Review

After a deflating draw on Saturday, Darren Ferguson looks to motivate his players up for a quick turnaround, for the visit of Shaun Derrys', Cambridge United. Doncaster last faced Cambridge in the FA cup in December 2015, in a 3-1 victory, which saw Fergusons' team through to the third round. Goals from Mitchell Lund and a double from Conor Grant helped Rovers on their way, but without Conor Grant this time round, who could help us with the goals this time? John Marquis has come very close in last few games, and I would hope that on a Tuesday night under the floodlights, that Marquis will shine, and finally get his goal that he deserves.

Andy Williams may lose his place, after Ferguson seems to be losing patience with the 30 year-old, after he missed two game-changing shots on Saturday, and Liam Mandeville could be the guy to step in his place. Mandeville has come on as a substitute during the last three games for Rovers, and has impressed on each occasion, even scoring a goal, so could this be the time for the 19 year-old to shine - I hope so! Riccardo Calder doesn't look good enough playing at LWB, so I'd favour someone, such as Cedric Evina to take his place for this game.

Darren Ferguson will also have a dilemma for his back 3 or 4, because on-loan defender, Niall Mason, has been ruled out for the match, after picking up an injury during Saturday's match, but youngster, Tyler Garrett could be his replacement after a good performance in last two games that he has been brought on.

Ferguson has confirmed that McSheffrey and Baudry are out for at least another three or four games, but didn't mention Keegan, which could indicate he could be on the verge of a return, so one silver lining to our form at the moment, is that we're very close to getting our squad fit again.

I really hope that we can pull of a victory here on Tuesday night, because I believe once we get that first win the confidence will come, and that we could go on a very good run, but we need to get the win first!

Predicted lineup v Cambridge:
Etheridge; Wright, Butler, Garrett; Blair, Coppinger, Rowe, Houghton, Evina; Marquis and Williams.
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by The Rovers Review

After two defeats in a row, Rovers look to get back on track as they host their first home league game of the 2016/17 campaign against Crawley. This is the best opportunity for Ferguson, and the players to set the standard for this season, because Crawley are a standard league two side, who are going to be similar to most of the oppositions that we'll be facing this season.

I look forward to seeing what line-up Ferguson goes for, because obviously he has Wright and Middleton now back to match fitness, and may have Paul Keegan on the bench. Joe Wright has now made two appearances for the club, and has impressed on both occasions, and he even won man of the match on Tuesday vs Nottingham Forest, so I expect that he'll be one of the first names on the team sheet.

It will be interesting to see what formation he goes with too, because he has received a bit of stick for his usual 3-5-2 system, but I understand he has used that, because of injuries, but now like I say, with players coming back I think it should be about time he reverts to his 4-4-2 diamond formation - but I personally think he will stick with the 3-5-2.

Liam Mandeville is another player who will be giving Ferguson a headache, because he came on as a substitute during the cup game vs Nottingham Forest, and scored the equaliser to bring Rovers back into the game, but who would Fergie take out of the squad attacking wise?

The debate will also continue into this match; whether Ferguson should chose Etheridge or Marosi to go in goal. Marosi impressed on Tuesday night, and with Etheridge having a poor performance on Saturday I really wouldn't want to be in Ferguson's position, because I'm torn between who I'd like to see in goal. Personally, I think Etheridge deserves another chance, because people do have off days, but at the same time I think Marosi deserves a chance after how patient he has been over recent years!  

Not only do we need three points from this game, but we need to make sure that we stop conceding both early and late in the game, and that we tighten up a lot more, and stop getting un-done on the counter.

Last time Doncaster faced Crawley, was in February 2015, in league one, where Paul Dickov over saw a thrilling 5-0 victory for Rovers; which has been our biggest victory since. I sincerely hope that we have a similar result this Saturday, or the pressure is going to be growing even greater on Darren Ferguson!

Predicted lineup vs Crawley
Etheridge; Mason, Butler, Wright; Blair, Houghton, Rowe, Middleton, Calder; Marquis and Williams.
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by The Rovers Review

It was disappointing to come away at the weekend without a point, or three, but we now look to the league cup, where Doncaster Rovers host championship side, Nottingham Forest. The board have said that they're not focusing on cup competitions this season, to prioritise promotion out of league two, so don't expect much from this match; well then again we might actually win if we play with no pressure.

Doncaster last beat Nottingham Forest in 2012, 1-2,  when we visited the City Ground with Kyle Bennett and Frederic Piquionne scoring the two goals. And when we last played them in league cup, in 2004, they beat us 2-0, so lets hope we get our revenge 12 years on!

We've only managed to beat them 6 times in 17 games over the last 12 years, and that was when we were competing in the same division as them, but now we're two divisions below them, and  getting beat by Accrington Stanley on a Saturday afternoon.

With us not taking this game as serious as a league game, I expect us/hope we field some youth players, such as: Pugh, Longbottom, Mandeville and Beestin, which I think would do them some good to get some competitive first team experience.

Also, from last Saturday's match I expect Lund, Coppinger and Calder will be playing, because they for me were not good enough on Saturday, so this way I think they'll have to go out there and prove to Darren Ferguson why exactly they should be in the squad for the Crawley math.

One thing that excites me is that Ferguson has said he is going to give Joe Wright some game time in this match, and I think him and Baudry are going to be two key players in our defence this season, so this gives me some optimism for the future. All we need now is Baudry to get fit.

In addition I would play Marko Marosi in goal. Now, I didn't slate Etheridge on Saturday, because it was a mistake, yes, but Stuckmann made mistakes too and I supported him, but I think it's about time we give Marosi a chance, and I think Tuesday would be the best possible time for him to have this chance. You never know, the healthy competition may be what they both need.

Line-up I think Ferguson may go for on Tuesday v Nottingham Forrest:

Etheridge; Lund, Butler, Wright, Garrett; Houghton, Coppinger, Calder, Middleton; Beestin and Marquis.
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by Paul Williams

For the first time since they were promoted back to the Football League (sorry, the EFL), Accrington Stanley aren’t favourites for relegation. That’s because they would have been starting off in League One today had they not messed up on the final day of last season.
On that basis, you’d think a visit to the tiny Crown Ground would be a tough start for Rovers especially as no-one, probably including Darren Ferguson, knows who will be fit and into what formation they will be inserted after a pre-season which has been costly in terms of injury, especially for poor Luke McCullough.
Stanley’s successful side of last year has been dismantled, however, and they’ve also had their problems pre-season. Goalkeeper Ross Etheridge is now Rovers’ number one and highly-rated defender Adam Buxton left for Portsmouth during the week to further disrupt the plans of long-serving manager John Coleman. Maybe the home side, like Rovers, would probably settle for avoiding defeat on the opening day to give them something to build on.
Etheridge, Tyler Garratt, Matty Blair, Joe Wright and John Marquis could all make their competitive debuts for Rovers on the wrong side of the Pennines. They will be backed by a 1,000-plus following but fans may have to give the new boys a few weeks to gel. However, the opening game should give us a good idea of what to expect this season from League Two.
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