MANAGER Darren Ferguson has hailed Doncaster Rovers’ plum Carabao Cup tie at Arsenal as an “incredible draw”, but insists that focus must be exclusively retained on league matters in the meanwhile.
Doncaster were rewarded for their midweek victory over Yorkshire rivals Hull City with a money-spinning third-round trip to face the Gunners. The tie will evoke memories of the pair’s famous quarter-final meeting in the League Cup in 2005-06, which the London club won on penalties at Rovers’ former Belle Vue home.
My concentration is not on the Arsenal game because we have a lot of games between then and now. But I am delighted with the draw.Doncaster boss Darren Ferguson
Ferguson’s side will visit the Emirates Stadium in the week beginning Monday, September 18.
Rovers’ last appointment at Arsenal was in the same competition in a second-round, second-leg tie at Highbury almost 30 years ago, in October, 1987.
Ferguson, whose side were due to face a home league match with Scunthorpe on September 17, said: “It is an incredible draw for the club against Arsenal. There is an excitement around the training ground at the moment.
“We will take a great support with us to Arsenal and we know it is a great spectacle for them.
“But my concentration is not on the Arsenal game because we have a lot of games between then and now. But I am delighted with the draw.”
Midfielder Matty Blair has paid tribute to the club for their support following the recent passing of his brother Ross, who had battled for several years with a brain tumour.
Blair said: “The gaffer has been brilliant with me with the passing of my brother and I cannot thank him enough.
“Football has been a release for me. I honestly believe I could not have been at a better club in the way people have been with me.”
Leeds United will have a quick reunion with former players Chris Wood and Charlie Taylor after being handed a Carabao Cup trip to Burnley.
Huddersfield Town travel to Crystal Palace, while Middlesbrough will visit Aston Villa for the second time in a week after being drawn for a third-round trip.
Third-round draw: West Brom v Man City; Everton v Sunderland; Leicester v Liverpool; Man United v Burton; Brentford v Norwich; Wolves v Bristol R; Burnley v Leeds; Arsenal v Doncaster; Bristol City v Stoke; Reading v Swansea; Aston Villa v Middlesbrough; Chelsea v Nottm Forest; West Ham v Bolton; Crystal P v Huddersfield; Tottenham v Barnsley or Derby; Bournemouth v Brighton. Ties to be played week commencing Sept 18.