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by The Rovers Review

Darren Ferguson is excited ahead of Doncaster Rovers' local clash against promotion-chasing Scunthorpe United.

The Rovers boss thinks that there is plenty of incentives for his side coming into the game, as he looks to continue the unbeaten start to 2018,

“It’s going to be a tough game, I remember last time we went there it was a horrible night! We did turn them over in the cup – and deservedly so.
“There’s plenty of motivation for Tuesday; it’s a derby, a big game and we’ll take a good following and we could possibly go 10th – so there’s plenty of incentive for us going into Tuesday.”

After Rovers’ 2-2 draw at Shrewsbury, Andy Butler has been ruled out after suffering a hip injury within the opening stages of the game, while Issam Ben Khemis left the field of play with a suspected ankle ligament injury. Post-match Darren Ferguson stated that the pair will not be available for Scunthorpe.

Rovers come into the game on a seven-match unbeaten run – with their last defeat coming at Oxford in December. Scunthorpe, on the other hand, come into the game with two defeats from seven games with their second defeat coming last weekend against the resurging Gillingham.

Out of 14 away games, Rovers have only won four, drawing three and losing seven, meaning they’re only averaging a 1.07 points per away game.

On the other hand, Scunthorpe have won seven, drawn four and lost three in their 14 home games this season – averaging in 1.79 points per game at home.

It was only a month ago since the last time the two sides encountered each other and it end in a win in Rovers’ favour, after they brushed aside Scunthorpe 3-0 in the FA Cup second round thanks to goals from Tommy Rowe and Liam Mandeville.
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by The Rovers Review

Darren Ferguson is expecting a tough test as his side head to second-placed Shrewsbury Town.

Ferguson was full of praise for Paul Hurst who has turned a Shrewsbury side tipped for relegation into promotion hopefuls,

"They're a very good, very difficult team. They've had an excellent season - deservedly so - their managers done a fantastic job with the group of players and how they play.
"I watched them on Tuesday - I don't know if they'll play the way they did then - they did change it for whatever reasons, but it's going to be a big test for us!"

After signing earlier this week, Shane Blaney isn't expected to feature after Ferguson declares the Irish center back was primarily signed to use in the development squad for now.

The Rovers boss also confirmed that Alex Kiwomya has successfully made it through a week's training and they expect him to return to first-team action for the Portsmouth game on the 3rd February 2018.

Shrewsbury have only lost 4 times in 26 league games this season, and to make things harder for Rovers they have the best home record in the league. 50% of games that Shrewsbury have played at home have finished in a one-nil victory, while Rovers have a 23.1% record of losing their away games by one-nil.

In the reverse fixture in September 2017, Rovers lost 2-1 at home following a late strike from Arthur Gnahoua to take all three points from a distraught Rovers on the night.

The last time Rovers visited Shrewsbury's Greenhous Meadow they won were 2-1 victors in what was Ferguson's first match in charge in October 2015. Goals from James Coppinger and Keshi Anderson that night canceled out Nathaniel Knight-Percival's goal.
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by The Rovers Review

Darren Ferguson is expecting a tough encounter as Rovers welcome Plymouth Argyle to the Keepmoat.

The Rovers manager made it obvious that he’s not expecting an easy ride as he welcomes Derek Adams’ team who are unbeaten in their last seven games – seeing them rise to 11th in the league.  

“They’re very similar to ourselves, they’ve managed to grow into the league and get confidence from recently being unbeaten in seven games – I think – it will be a hard game.

“We know them well. There hasn’t been much change between both club’s personnel rise and in terms of how we both play, so it will be a tough game with both teams in pretty good form. We’re at home and we want to take the game to them.”

On the injury front, Rovers are looking very healthy with no new issues and long-term absentees Alex Kiwomya and Luke McCullough are increasing their training programme, with Ferguson saying they’re looking “sharp”. It was confirmed they will both be involved in the upcoming development games before featuring in first-team games.

Rovers are strengthened by the return of Ben Whiteman as the 21-year-old was recalled from his loan last week, but he has returned for an undisclosed six-figure fee on a three-and-a-half-year deal. He will come straight back into Darren Ferguson’s thinking.

After earning three consecutive clean sheets over Christmas, it means that Rovers now have the fifth best defensive record in the league, after conceding just 28 goals in 26 games. Plymouth don’t have the best attack in the league either, as they boast the 18th worst goals for stat, scoring only 29 goals in 26 games.

When away from home the Pilgrims have a 38% record of being one goal down at half-time.

The last time these teams met was in the reverse fixture this season at Home Park where Rovers beat a 10-man Plymouth 3-0 with goals from Andy Butler, John Marquis and Alfie May.

Their previous visit to the Keepmoat, however, ended in a win for Plymouth as Sonny Bradley’s second-half goal was the only thing to separate both sides.
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Darren Ferguson thinks Rovers’ fourth meeting against Rochdale this season will still be tough, as Rovers face them in the third round of the FA Cup.

Although in the league Rochdale may lay in the relegation zone, Ferguson doesn’t think it will make this tie any easier.

“I think we’ve done okay at home and I think it will be another tough game – a cup match – perhaps for them it’s a little release from the league, sometimes you find that when you’re struggling, but for us we’ve got to try and keep our foot down.

He added: “The last two times we’ve been to Rochdale they’ve managed to score late goals. But, I felt we did quite well against them here.”

The bug that was reported to be going around the Rovers camp seems to have died off as of late with Tommy Rowe being the only exception for feeling under the weather, but Ferguson confirmed it’s nothing to worry about.

After missing Rovers’ festive period, James Coppinger has recovered from injury and will be available for Ferguson to select this weekend.

This encounter will come just after a week of last facing each other, when Rovers were 2-0 victors in the league.

To get to this round Rovers have so far seen off Ebbsfleet (6-2) before going on to beat Scunthorpe (3-0). Rochdale has seen off both Bromley and Slough Town by 4-0 in both games.

Since 1923 Rovers have won 54, drawn 19 and lost 37 against Rochdale.

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by The Rovers Review

Darren Ferguson is looking forward to his return to his old employers, Peterborough United, as Rovers face the Posh for their first game of 2018.

Both teams come into this encounter with a five-point gap between each other; Peterborough sits in 8th while Rovers lurk behind in 10th position.

Ferguson had this to say ahead of the encounter: "They're in very good form themselves at the moment and it was a very cagey game here at home last time. Both teams have slightly changed since then.

It's one I'm looking forward to, obviously going back to my old team which is always nice, but we're going to go there and try to win the game."

A bug has hit Cantley Park affecting players and staff alike with Ferguson recently confirming that Alfie Beestin and Rodney Kongolo have been suffering the brunt of the illness, while Alfie May and Mathieu Baudry have also been affected by the bug.

Ferguson has also confirmed some of his staff are suffering too, so in combat with the raging illness, the Scotsman gave everyone the day off on Saturday.

Rovers have won all three of their last three league games, whilst also keeping three consecutive clean sheets. Consequently, Rovers' form has seen them earn an average of 1.32 points-per-game while Peterborough have won two of their last three games averaging in total 1.52 points-per-game.

The last time the two teams met was back in September at the Keepmoat and that did finish in a goalless draw, but the last time Rovers went to the Abax Stadium they lost embarrassingly 4-0 - coincidently Ferguson's second game in charge in October 2015. All four of Posh's goal scorers from the last trip Abax Stadium have all departed: Conor Washington, Callum Elder, Erhun Oztumer and Gabriel Zakuani.

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