Doncaster Rovers v Gillingham - Darren Moore expecting tough opening day at home

Doncaster Rovers manager Darren Moore. (Picture: Tony Johnson)
Doncaster Rovers manager Darren Moore. (Picture: Tony Johnson)
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Custom may dictate that managers claim they are reaching for the stars at the start of a new season but Darren Moore clearly does not follow tradition.

Since his appointment as Doncaster Rovers boss last month, Moore has adopted a cautious tone when addressing predictions for his side’s fortunes this term, which begins against Gillingham at the Keepmoat this afternoon.

There is still room for us to maneouvre within the squad and we will be taking the opportunity to do that.

Darren Moore

Rovers may have reached the League One play-offs last term – missing out on a place in the final on penalties – but only three players who started the second leg at Charlton Athletic remain with the club.

Centre-half Alex Baptiste signed a one-year deal with the club on Friday after a successful trial, while Rovers also added youngsters Niall Ennis and Cameron John on season-long loan deals from top-flight side Wolverhampton Wanderers.

But with plenty of work still to be done in the transfer market, Moore would prefer to wait until the closing of the summer window on September 2 before making any bold claims about where Rovers could find themselves come next May.

“Ask me when the window closes and I’m sitting here reflecting on the squad and the results over the month of August,” Moore said. “At the moment it’s really early for me to say.

“There is still room for us to maneouvre within the squad and we will be taking the opportunity to do that.

“We’re working extremely hard on that and we’re determined to do so.

“At the minute I’m pleased where we’re at and I’m looking forward to the start of the season.”

The arrival of striker Ennis –who signed a contract until 2024 with Wolves prior to his loan move – has temporarily eased concerns over the lack of depth in attack Rovers have after the departure of John Marquis.

And centre back duo Baptiste and John significantly bolster the defensive armoury, particularly with Joe Wright doubtful for the Gillingham game with a knee injury.

Moore is expecting a tough test on the opening day against another side with a new boss, Steve Evans-managed Gillingham.

Moore said: “Steve is a vastly experienced manager and his teams are always hard-working and show a lot of commitment and endeavour.

“They are a very fit team and they know what they are about.

“They pose a threat we are going to have to deal with.”