Doncaster Rovers plan to attack Crystal Palace in FA Cup showdown

Doncaster Rovers will not relent from their attacking principles when Premier League side Crystal Palace visit the Keepmoat on Sunday in an eagerly-anticipated FA Cup fifth-round tie.

Rovers are playing some of their best football of the season, evidenced by a slick destruction of Southend United that strenghened their hold on a place in the League One play-off zone.

They have lost just once in nine games, winning six of them, with their form based largely on playing on the front foot.

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On Tuesday their attacking 4-3-3 formation caused Southend all manner of problems with Ben Whiteman, Herbie Kane and Ali Crawford creating opportunities for a front three of James Coppinger, Mallik Wilks and John Marquis.

Herbie Kane: Ready for FA Cup test.

Crystal Palace will provide much stiffer opposition in front of the BBC cameras, and a League One team might ordinarily set themselves up to negate a Premier League outfit. But that is neither the Doncaster Rovers or Grant McCann way. “We won’t change what we do. We’ll play our game. If it’s good enough, it’s good enough; if it’s not, it’s not. That’s the way we go into every game,” said manager McCann.

“I’d be mad to try and sit behind the ball against Crystal Palace and let them have it. They’re Premier League players.

“It’s a game we can just go and give everything we’ve got – and our players love playing at the Keepmoat, the fans have been great and there’s a real confidence and swagger about us at the moment.”

McCann’s attacking ethos is welcomed by influential on-loan Liverpool midfielder Kane.

The 20-year-old is the class act of the Rovers midfield, the way he shapes his body to take defenders out of the game being one particular area in which he looks too good for the third tier.

With designs on one day playing in the Premier League, either at Liverpool or elsewhere, the Bristolian knows Sunday is an opportunity to showcase his talents.

“I’d definitely want to go and attack Palace,” said Kane. “That’s the style I like to play and we like to play as a team. We’re always on the front foot, we’re always trying to make things happen. It doesn’t matter who we’re playing against, that’s the way we play.

“It’s going to be a massive challenge, but I love those challenges. Hopefully, I can prove myself.”