THORSTEN STUCKMANN is urging Doncaster Rovers to get ugly in their survival quest.
After a dismal derby performance at Scunthorpe in midweek, Rovers are immediately afforded a stage to get back in supporters’ good books at Bradford this afternoon, but bragging rights is the last thing in the club’s thoughts.
Survival points and ending a horror 10-match winless streak is the only thing occupying the thoughts of players, according to goalkeeper Stuckmann, who says that Rovers need to start showing their appetite for the battle in the games and weeks ahead.
Stuckmann said: “I don’t think we are a soft touch. When you look at teams like Scunthorpe, they have a midfield which is nowhere near the quality of ours, footballing-wise.
“But what they have got with (Neal) Bishop and (Stephen) Dawson is players who kick everything and win the second balls. We can do this as we have Keegs (Paul Keegan), Luke (McCullough) and Chappy (Richard Chaplow) and others like that with experience to know we can do this
“We can do the ugly side and we have shown this a few times, we showed it at Southend and Oldham away. We were fighting for our lives and throwing bodies on the line there and just have to remember this.
“If you do the ugly bit first, you earn the right to play your football.”
A prime example of what Rovers are missing was provided by Bradford in the reverse fixture at the Keepmoat, when Phil Parkinson’s side produced a workaholic if unspectacular team performance which merited three points.
Stuckmann says Rovers must endeavour to do something akin to that at Valley Parade, while also coping with City’s physicality.
He added: “We just have to accept that the conditions won’t be as good as we would hope to play on, as the pitch is usually horrendous at Bradford and we have to play the conditions at the moment.
“We have to challenge them and win the second balls and do the scrappy bit first. If you do the basics right, especially against teams like Bradford, and win your individual battles on the pitch, your luck will turn.”