HISTORY may have shown that Bonfire Night is traditionally a rewarding time for Doncaster Rovers, but it is another set of figures which are troubling Darren Ferguson.
Rovers, who head west to face Oldham in the FA Cup at Boundary Park for the fourth time in nine years today, have played 12 games on November 5 in their history, winning eight and losing just once.
But Ferguson is more concerned with his side knocking out their recent tendency to leak goals in the final quarter of games, which have cost them eight League Two points already this term.
Doncaster may switch tack to cup matters today, but the Scot has implored his side of the need to see out games and concentrate until the end, with the message reinforced to whoever strides out for the visitors today in what is likely to be a changed line-up.
Ferguson said: “On Tuesday, we had a meeting and analysed the whole period up to now and it was going into detail of times when we have lost goals.
“There are key statistics we need to improve on.
“One is that we need to keep more clean sheets and we have conceded too many goals in the last 15 minutes of games. We went through it thoroughly and the players were very good in the meeting.
“It was a good meeting.
“We have scored a lot of goals and look good going forward.
But we have got to remember that we need to keep clean sheets as well.
“We need to tighten up and manage games when we have to.
“We need to keep the belief in games when we come under the cosh and remember that we have a really good group of players here.”
Today’s match will be a particularly noteworthy one for experienced defender Craig Alcock, who makes his eagerly-awaited first appearance of the season after suffering a setback on the injury front.
Ferguson said: “In the last two weeks, he has trained and we fully expect he will get a full game and be fine.”