Doncaster Rovers and Darren Moore not getting too far ahead of themselves
“The expectations for me are to do as well as we can,” says the likeable former centre-back. “I always remove myself from looking towards the end of the season because there’s so much work to be done and the way I drive it is day by day, week by week, training session by training session to always keep maxing out who we are and what we are and drive the performance.
“If we can have good performances in training and games on all those days it will lead to the right outcome at the end of the season. It’s just being the best we can on every single day.”
If that makes his approach sound short-termist, it is anything but. Moore is playing the long game in South Yorkshire.
The performances of loanees Seny Dieng and Jacob Ramsey look to have put them out of Doncaster’s orbit but Cameron John and Jason Lokilo have stayed permanently.
With experienced professionals as good as James Coppinger, the 39-year-old in his farewell season, and Tom Anderson to learn from, the Keepmoat is becoming a good environment for talented novices.
Josef Bursik and Taylor Richards are the latest to try, and it would be a big surprise if they were not joined by two or three more Premier League or Championship loanees by the time the window shuts.
The challenge now is to produce more of their own diamonds, rather than polishing other people’s.
Reaching the play-offs in Grant McCann’s season, Moore’s first back at the club ended too abruptly to find out if they could do so again. When coronavirus made the music stop they were five points and one place behind play-off winners Wycombe Wanderers with 10 games to play.
Captain Ben Whiteman will have to be replaced if Barnsley or anyone else succeeds in signing the midfielder, but a top-six finish does not seem an unreasonable ambition. Just do not expect Moore to say so.
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Thank you, James Mitchinson. Editor.