MARK ROBINS has urged his Huddersfield Town players not to read too much into Doncaster’s drubbing on their last outing.
The relegation-threatened South Yorkshire outfit were thrashed 5-0 last weekend at Bournemouth. It not only left Rovers deep in trouble just above the drop zone, but also extended the winless run for Paul Dickov’s men to five games.
As Doncaster were crashing to their heaviest loss of the season at Dean Court, Huddersfield were romping to a 5-0 derby victory at home to Barnsley.
On paper, therefore, today’s derby should go with the form team but Robins has been in football, and the Championship, long enough to know not to take anything for granted.
The Town manager said: “We are preparing for the game like any other and if we can reach the performance levels of last Saturday (against Barnsley), we shouldn’t be too far away.
“Doncaster struggled last week. But we know that going to Bournemouth is a tough away day. They are a good side and five goals is difficult to take. We have conceded five goals in a derby game, though, and know what the division is like.
“Our attitude has to be that it is a winnable game. But, equally, if we don’t perform then Doncaster will punish us. They have Billy Sharp back and he has scored against us this season. We know what their capabilities are.
“They have good options up front with Sharp, Chris Brown, Jordan Bowery and obviously we know Theo Robinson very well.
“James Coppinger and David Cotterill are also clever players and can be match-winners.”
The two sides took a point apiece from the meeting at the John Smith’s Stadium earlier in the season. However, whereas Doncaster are just three points above third-bottom Charlton, who have three games in hand on the Yorkshire side, Huddersfield seem set for a comfortable mid-table finish.
Considering last term and how Town were in danger of being relegated right until the final whistle was blown on the final day, that has to represent progress – especially considering top scorer James Vaughan has missed a large chunk through injury.
The 12-goal hitman has appeared just four times since Christmas and will not be available again today due to a calf problem sustained last month against Nottingham Forest.
However, the Huddersfield manager added: “He hasn’t started training with the full squad yet, but it is a step forward (that he is back running).
“I don’t want to put too much pressure on him though. The important thing is that he is making progress.”