Doncaster Rovers have an early test of their title aspirations today when the new League Two leaders face rivals Plymouth.
Only last month, the Devon side were 11 points ahead of Darren Ferguson’s team at the top
But four successive wins over Exeter, Hartlepool United, Leyton Orient and Stevenage have see Rovers march to the summit.
That has coincided with a slump in results for Plymouth, who have lost their last three league outings – including defeats at home to Grimsby Town (3-0) and Barnet (2-0).
It leaves the top three of Rovers, Carlisle United and Plymouth separated by a point ahead of this afternoon’s game at Home Park.
Victory for the visitors would lay down a marker in the promotion battle, not that Ferguson is reading too much into the game.
“It’s three points to play for, it’s just another league match,” said Ferguson. “That’s how I’m treating it. It’ll be a tough game, they’re a good team.
“They went on a fantastic run and they’ve got a good points total. Obviously they’ve had a little blip but I think most teams will.
“I think they will look at it and see it as the game that will kick-start their season again.
“It’s just another game for me and it’s all about winning those three points. It’s no bigger than last week.”
In the last five seasons in League Two, the clubs claiming third spot – the last automatic promotion place – have been: Bristol Rovers (85pts), Bury (85), Rochdale (81), Port Vale (78) and Crawley (84).
That means Doncaster’s return of over two points per game – 39 from 19 – is well above promotion form. It is that statistic which Ferguson is focusing on, rather than individual games.
“The concentration from me has been about the points,” said Ferguson. “We’re on 39 points from 19 games and it was irrelevant what Plymouth did. If they kept on winning games there’s nothing we could do about it, it’s outside of our control.
“We can only control them when we play them and that’s this weekend.”