TO say that Doncaster Rovers have come a fair way since lining up at Accrington Stanley’s Wham Stadium on August 6 is somewhat of an understatement.
A big travelling continent may have headed to Lancashire full of hope, but a deflating late loss proved the proverbial opening-day dampener and another bitter development in a hitherto forgettable 2016.
Events since have proved much more uplifting and while Rovers head into today’s reverse fixture on the back of a four-match winless run, it is mitigated by the fact that Darren Ferguson’s side still lead the way at the top of League Two.
One of the stars in Rovers’ renaissance in John Marquis can clearly vouch for how far Rovers have come in under seven months and he is confident that they can finish off the job with promotion back to the third tier.
Through that time, one reassuring constant has been the home form of Rovers, unbeaten at the Keepmoat Stadium since March 28 of last year – and Marquis sees no reason why things should change.
Rovers’ top-scorer said: “We have learned so much throughout the season and have played different formations and had different players come in and leave since then.
“We are on a great run of form at home and we want that to continue. Whether Accrington or Arsenal who were coming here, we would look to win.”
Offering perspective to Rovers’ four-match run without a win, he added: “We cannot get too concerned about it. Every team has what people call a ‘blip’.
“We had a tough week of travelling to Newport and Carlisle United and then a tough home game with Luton.
“Two of those teams are in the top four and another is fighting for their lives in the relegation zone on what can only be described as the worst pitch I have ever seen.
“We have got to look at the next few games coming up where we have got some good home fixtures and some important away games where we can really kick on.”