manager Darren Ferguson is confident that new Doncaster Rovers recruit Riccardo Calder has the tools for a survival scrap despite not yet making his debut in the Football League.
The athletic and powerfully built 20-year-old Aston Villa midfielder has arrived on loan for the rest of the season, with Ferguson likely to add another newcomer in time for next weekend’s derby at Bradford City as he tries to arrest Rovers’ alarming descent towards the bottom four of League One.
Calder, who had a loan spell at SPL club Dundee at the start of the season, is likely to make his debut in tomorrow’s relegation six-pointer at home to Shrewsbury Town as Rovers eye their first win in nine matches since the start of January.
Ferguson, who has promised several other big changes in his attempt to find a winning formula tomorrow, said: “In terms of research, Riccardo has played at Dundee and had that experience, similar to Conor Grant (at Motherwell).
“I like the fact that they have gone up to Motherwell and Dundee.
“With players in the Premiership, quite a lot of them would turn that opportunity down and Riccardo had the right mentality and did okay.”
Ferguson’s side produced a limp display in Tuesday’s 2-0 loss at Swindon and are just two places and two points above the bottom four.
As well as the Shrews, Rovers will also face several other sides in the bottom half of the table and Ferguson believes that his side’s fortunes against them will be pivotal – while being adamant that the time for action is now.
He added: “The key thing for me is that we’ve narrowed it down to a mini league.
“From Fleetwood down, that is the league we are in now and five of those teams we have to play.
“So it’s in our hands really.”