Doncaster Rovers’ target of top-half finish will drive them on in run-in

Doncaster Rovers midfielder Ben Whiteman (Picture: Chris Etchells).
Doncaster Rovers midfielder Ben Whiteman (Picture: Chris Etchells).
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MIDFIELDER Ben Whiteman says that Doncaster Rovers players owe it to themselves and the rest of the club’s staff not to let their season wind down in below-par fashion for the second year running.

Rovers’ 2016-17 season may have ended in promotion, but a late-season blip, which saw them miss out on silverware, represented a disappointment.

Twelve months on and the prize is less grand, but still of importance to Rovers, as they chase a top-half finish, something that would represent a creditable achievement in a season disrupted by injuries and also, latterly, postponements.

That looked to be well within their recent remit only for a run of one point from three home matches to put it in jeopardy.

On the task for 14th-placed Rovers, challenged to reach 60 points by manager Darren Ferguson, Whiteman said: “The manager and staff will not let that happen and us as players will not. We have three games left and will be giving our all and hopefully we can get six points in three games. Especially with the game in hand, we would be disappointed if we did not finish in the top half. We let it slip against Bury and Oxford and to come so close and lose to a set-piece against Blackburn is disappointing.

“But hopefully we can kick on in the three games remaining.”

After recently returning to the first team after being given a breather by Ferguson, Whiteman is also keen to finish on a high, admitting his time out was a blessing in disguise.

He added: “I was not really up to my own standards until a month after I (permanently) signed in January. I spent a little bit of time out of the team, which was deserved, and have come back in and done okay. I felt I needed that little bit of time out to reflect on my performances. Hopefully, I can improve and kick on.”