Hartlepool United v Doncaster Rovers: Darren Ferguson calls on the real Rovers to put title pressure on Plymouth

Darren Ferguson: The main thing for me is to finish the season with a win, says Rovers chief.
Darren Ferguson: The main thing for me is to finish the season with a win, says Rovers chief.
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DARREN FERGUSON insists that Doncaster Rovers’ players owe it to themselves to finish the season on a high – whatever transpires in a gripping three-way fight for League Two silverware today.

Rovers are battling for the title on the final day for the second time in five seasons and just like the scenario at the end of 2012-13, the South Yorkshire outfit are second favourites going into the last-game action.

If we end up being pipped by a point by Plymouth, you have to congratulate them. But we should put as much pressure on them as we can. I want my players to do themselves justice and show the real team that we are.

Darren Ferguson

They are again hoping for a fateful late swing akin to the memorable events at Brentford in April, 2013.

Plymouth Argyle, who visit Grimsby Town, are one point ahead of Rovers, who require a victory at Hartlepool allied to Argyle dropping points at Blundell Park to seal the title, with third-placed Portsmouth also waiting in the wings if the top two do slip up.

After putting pressure on his side to power on for the championship in the immediate aftermath of promotion being clinched, the Rovers manager is adopting a more relaxed strategy this week, mindful that his side have succumbed to the heat by way of three successive losses, in which they have looked mentally and physically jaded.

On his thoughts ahead of today’s game, a huge one for relegation-haunted Pools, who need to win and hope Newport County lose to Notts County to seal a ‘Great Escape’, Ferguson said: “The main thing for me and the message to my players is finish the season with a win. Then, we end up with 88 points, which is a fantastic total.

“If we end up being pipped by a point by Plymouth, you have to congratulate them. But we should put as much pressure on them as we can. I want my players to do themselves justice and show the real team that we are.

“I am glad it is on television as it gives us an opportunity to do that against a team who are fighting for their lives.

“If we do ourselves justice, I am sure we will get the right result and performance.

“There’s a lot riding on it and an edge to it, but we have good experience in the team.

“We also have a lot of motivation to finish the season with a win because of the last few results.”

Rovers will be backed by around 1,000 fans in a sell-out Victoria Park crowd.