Rovers could seal promotion back to league one at the first time of asking as they host, Steve Evans’, Mansfield Town.
Conor Grant and James Coppinger – who missed last weekend’s victory through injury – still remain a ‘doubt’ for this weekend, which could see Gary McSheffrey and Luke McCullough retain their places in the squad ahead of the game. This comes after they started their first games this season, last weekend at Grimsby.
Ferguson has estimated striker, Liam Mandeville to be back just after Easter; in time for the Wycombe Wanderers game. That shouldn’t be too much of a problem, however, considering that all three strikers that featured last weekend (Marquis, Williams and May) all scored during his absence.
After receiving a lot of interest from the press this week regarding his future, Darren Ferguson has said that John Marquis isn’t going anywhere and that it would take ‘a lot of money’, to see him leave the club. He also hinted at the fact that he’ll be sitting down with Marquis to get a contract extension during the summer – along with a few other players too!
Also, Ferguson has again this week, emphasized the ambition to win the league after stating that he wants this to be the first time he wins a league, because previously he has got promoted through the divisions, either by being runners up or through the play-offs. He believes – contrary to Derek Adams thoughts – that the title race isn’t over yet with 6 games to go and a 6 point gap separating Rovers and Plymouth.
As for the opposition, Ferguson has said that they’re going to be a team that will have the most pace out of any team Rovers have faced this season, so that could be a test in itself for the Vikings. Ferguson also said that Steve Evans will have his team working hard for him, which could suggest it’s going to be a game where Rovers need to remain concentrated for the full 90 minutes.
Mansfield have a better defencive record than Rovers in the league, because they’ve only conceded 45 goals in 40 games, whereas Rovers have conceded 46 in just as many – so it’s only fine margins separating the two sides.
Mansfield have been averaging 1.45 points per game so far this season, however Rovers are sticking to their target that Darren Ferguson has set them, to average two points a game, and so far they’re exceeding that by achieving 2.03 points per game.
Players to watch
Striker, Matt Green, is their player to watch because he’s managed to get 10 goals in league two so far this season.
New striker, Shaquile Coulthirst is their main threat for assists, with him picking up 5 assists since he joined the Stag’s in January this year.
The last time we faced Mansfield it was New Year’s Eve, which saw Rovers draw 1-1 with the Stags, with a goal coming from: Liam Mandeville.
This will be the first time Mansfield visit the Keepmoat, because the last time we faced them in Doncaster was during the FA Cup 2nd round replay in December 2006, which saw Rovers win 2-0 with goals from: Mark McCammon and Paul Heffernan.
Overall, Rovers have won 20, drawn, 17 and lost 30 since 1932 against Mansfield.
Predicted lineup v Mansfield Town
Lawlor; Alcock, Butler, Baudry, Mason; McCullough, Blair, Rowe, McSheffrey; Marquis and Williams.