MAnager Darren Ferguson says that Doncaster Rovers are seeking to provide crestfallen loan midfielder Jordan Houghton with a touch of solace – by way of a League Two championship winner’s medal in May.
The 21-year-old, an impressive ever-present for Rovers in the league this season, has returned to parent club Chelsea after suffering serious knee ligament damage in last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Luton Town.
Ferguson says that the severity of the injury sustained by Houghton has affected everyone deeply at the club this week.
The Londoner, visibly upset when he met with his Doncaster team-mates on Tuesday, will be sidelined for a considerable spell.
Ferguson is hopeful that that Houghton will be able to make it back to the Keepmoat Stadium to attend some games before the end of the season to keep his spirits up.
And clinching promotion and a title medal would provide extra motivation for the League Two leaders.
Ferguson said: “It is an extra motivation for us to get the job done and finish this job off and hopefully he gets a medal.
“Not that we need any more, but it is that extra motivation to make sure we finish it off and get him back here, hopefully with the title.”
Meanwhile, Ferguson has handed Houghton another tonic by revealing that he would be open to him returning to the club in an ideal world when he is fully restored to fitness.
He said: “I hope to work with him again, there’s no question about that. He has been one of our most consistent players and has played in every (league) game.”
Harry Middleton and Paul Keegan are competing to fill the void following Houghton’s injury, with Ferguson also having other options to replace the Chelsea player in the middle of the park.
The Rovers boss, whose side will seek to end a four-match winless streak at home to Accrington Stanley at the weekend, commented: “It is up to someone else to step in and do just as good a job.”
Liam Mandeville could return to the reckoning for the trip to Crawley on March 7, with defender Joe Wright out for three to four weeks with injury.
Swindon’s director of football Tim Sherwood has been handed a two-game stadium ban after admitting a Football Association charge of misconduct.
Sherwood is alleged to have verbally abused a match official during the half-time interval in his side’s defeat at Bury.