by The Rovers Review
After not winning our last two games, in a frustrating manner, we head to promotion favorites, Portsmouth, for our latest Sky Bet League Two fixture.
After last weeks game, it's hard to predict what changes Ferguson may make, because at times we seemed to have lacked energy, especially after the game changing penalty miss by Tommy Rowe.
Injury wise, I don't think they'll be any changes, because Niall Mason and Craig Alcock are only in the early stages of their rehabilitation.
I think Alcock is something we're missing right now, because we are conceding a few too many goals for my liking, so I'm very excited to see a defense with him in it.
Also, I think we could do with the likes of Gary McSheffrey, because I feel towards the end of the last two big games that we've already played (against Luton and Carlisle), we've lacked energy going forward, and I feel that if McSheffrey was fit, he would of added that bit of extra pace going forward, that we needed towards the end.
One thing is for sure however, and that is that we need to win this game, because we haven't won in our two previous games, and they have both been our toughest tests yet, so I think a win at Pompey on Saturday will send a massive statement out to league two.
Rovers will face their former three players for the first time on Saturday with: Enda Stevens, Kyle Bennett and Curtis Main now all playing their football. I would've thought Stevens and Bennett will start, but Main is mainly being used as in impact player, and has managed to net just two goals in league two from ten games.
Portsmouths' biggest goal threat, however, comes from midfield, in the form of Gary Roberts, who is their top goal scorer, scoring six goals in ten games.
The last time that we faced Pompey was in March 2013 at home where we drew 1-1 with Chris Brown giving us the lead early in the first half.
We have a lot more luck against them too, because we have won 10 out of 16 games against Pompey, but most of them haven't been comfortable wins, because we've won games by 4-3 or 3-2, and I don't think anything will change this Saturday either, I can see it being a really tight game.
Predicted lineup v Portsmouth
Marosi; Blair, Wright, Butler, Evina; Houghton, Middleton, Rowe, Coppinger; Marquis and Williams.
by The Rovers Review
After Saturday's agonising 3-1 defeat to promotion rivals Luton Town, Rovers welcome Carlisle United to the Keepmoat stadium just three days later on Tuesday.
After dominating and taking the lead against Luton last Saturday within the first 20 minutes we went on to collapse, and not even play good football, so Darren Ferguson will be hoping for more of the first 20 minutes, but this time to try and get that kind of performance for the full 90.
No player really stood out last weekend, so it's hard to predict any changes that Ferguson might make, but Cedric Evina seems to have started off his rollercoaster of inconsistent performances, so I'd presume that Tyler Garrett will be pushing for a place.
Ferguson could look to changing systems too, as we all know that he is avid of the 3-5-2 system, which he also used in the last 20 minutes or so against Luton when he brought Mathieu Baudry on, so he could favour having three at the back, and putting Evina into what I believe is his better position, at left wing-back.
If he was to use the 3-5-2 system, Frazer Richardson may be the unfortunate casualty; Matty Blair is capable of playing at right wing-back and is most likely to be fitter than Richardson too, so he can complete a full 90 minute game.
It is certainly going to be a tough game, due to the fact that we've got a quick turnaround considering that we played only three days ago, and we've also got tough matches against the likes of Portsmouth coming up, so we need to quickly put the Luton result behind us and improve.
Carlisle are the only team in League Two to have not lost a game this season, however they have only won three games. It's not going to be an easy game, but we do like stopping clubs records, for example we finished Wigan's run towards the end of last season, so lets hope we have the same outcome with Carlisle, and put their run to a grinding halt.
We last faced Carlisle in April 2013, where we suffered a 2-0 defeat at home. In addition we have only won 4 out of 8 games against Carlisle since 2003.
Predicted lineup v Carlisle United
Marosi; Wright, Baudry, Butler; Blair, Houghton, Coppinger, Rowe, Evina; Marquis and Williams.
by The Rovers Review
After winning 5 of our last six games we face our toughest test yet, as we visit our promotion rivals Luton Town.
For once there are no fresh injury concerns - Mathieu Baudry and Paul Keegan look to be back looking to push for a start, after completing about an hour in a friendly arranged with Notts County on Tuesday. Ross Etheridge, Tyler Garrett, Will Longbottom, Alfie Beestin and Liam Mandeville also featured in the friendly v Notts County, suggesting they're getting game time there, because they won't start on Saturday - which makes sense.
Based off of last week's match against Newport, I think that Harry Middleton's place will be under scrutiny, after a lackluster performance. On the other hand, Marko Marosi has cemented his place in this weeks team, coming away with a clean sheet and making two or three beautiful saves.
Luton are favorites, along with Rovers,Portsmouth, Plymouth and Carlisle to finish somewhere around the top three this season, so you could say this is going to be our biggest test yet. I think a lot of the players are going to up their game for this one, well I hope anyway, because if we come away from a place like Luton with a comfortable point, or three then I will continue to be elated at our progress so far.
Luton have lost their last two games in Sky Bet League Two, and have managed to win 4 out of 8 games this season, so you could say they've had an inconsistent start, but that does see them sit in 7th in the table going into this match.
The last time we faced Luton was in 2008 in league two and that resulted in a 2-0 victory Rovers, but the last time we visited Luton it was a one all draw, with a goal from James Hayter. Overall, Rovers have won 7 out of 22 games v Luton, and I think it's about time that we change that 7 to an 8, don't you?
Predicted lineup v Luton Town:
Marosi; Blair, Wright, Butler, Evina; Houghton, Rowe, Coppinger, Middleton; Marquis and Williams.
by The Rovers Review
After last week's exhilarating 1-5 victory away at Morecambe, Rovers will look for another win to kick off their winning run with the visit of Newport County.
Team news has come in and Harry Middleton looks a doubt for Saturday after picking up a tight hamstring. Baudry, McSheffrey and Keegan have all taken part in training this week, but most likely won't be involved on Saturday.
Riccardo Calder would look to be the favourite to replace Middleton in midfield; he came on during the second half against Morecambe did impress, but maybe could do with some work on communication because he did mis-place some of his passes. This would be make or break for Calder, because if he puts in a good shift he's going to cause selection headaches for Ferguson - especially with players returning from injury - but if he doesn't take advantage of this opportunity, players, such as, Gary McSheffrey and Paul Keegan will be pushing for their places back in the squad.
Craig Alcock has had a setback after picking up a, 'niggle', which will see him out for an extra week, and Niall Mason and Frazer Richardson, have began some training this week, but don't look like they'll be involved this Saturday either.
With all three right-backs out, Matty Blair looks like he'll retain his place at right-back instead of winger, but that doesn't concern me too much because he performed immaculately on Saturday and quite literally didn't put a foot wrong.
Ferguson has said, however that there are, "still things [he] wants to improve" on before facing Newport County this weekend, so it'll be interesting to see what these improvements are.
Newport have had a steady start to their season and haven't set the league on fire in their first seven games, but they have only lost just as many as Rovers have this season. They've drawn their last three games, and scored in all three too, and with Rovers scoring 10 goals in their last 3 games, winning two of them games too, it surely must be a game full of goals, right?
It has been a while (and when I say a while, I mean a WHILE) since we last faced Newport, dating back to 1987 in League division three, where Rovers lost 0-1. Hopefully this time round, Rovers can revenge 29 years later with a victory!
Predicted lineup v Newport County:
Marosi; Blair, Wright, Butler, Evina; Houghton, Calder, Coppinger, Rowe; Marquis and Williams.
by The Rovers Review
After a frustrating defeat to Crewe Alexandra, Rovers look to Morecambe to get back to their winning ways. What we learnt from the Crewe game is that we need to begin to take our chances, because we dominated Crewe for most of the game, yet didn't manage to score in open play.
No one looks set to be returning from injury for this match, but Baudry and some other players are participating in training this week, so it may not be long until they're in the side.
Again, what we learnt from last weekends match, was that 3-5-2 doesn't work for us. As soon as Ferguson changed the system from 4-4-2 to 3-5-2, we conceded their winning goal.
Marko Marosi looks to keep his place in goal, however Ferguson did question whether or not he should've saved their second goal; although he's kept 3 out of five clean sheets, could Ferguson be losing patience with another goalkeeper?
After the Crewe match Tommy Rowe said, 'you win some, and you learn some'. Hopefully meaning they learnt from their mistakes from their defeat at Crewe and that they're going to go to Morecambe to bring back three points. He also went on to insist that the Rovers players have the, 'belief', to get back to their winning ways.
James Coppinger is set to make his 500th appearance for Doncaster and after winning the League Two player of the month award earlier in the week, there is no doubt about it; Coppinger will be one of the first names on the team sheet.
Last time Rovers played Morecambe was in November 2003, in the conference, and Rovers lost 3-0 away, so let's hope that it's not a repeat of that scoreline this time round!
Overall Rovers have won just 3 out of 10 meetings against Morecambe since 1998.
Predicted lineup v Morecambe
Marosi; Richardson, Wright, Butler, Evina; Houghton, Blair, Rowe, Coppinger; Marquis and Williams.