DONCASTER ROVERS’ wretched campaign may not quite be over yet, but Darren Ferguson certainly cannot be accused of not planning for next season already.
After speaking about big changes being in store after last weekend’s defeat at Crewe effectively condemned Rovers to basement football for the first time since 2003-04, Ferguson is already proving as good as his word.
The Scot has revealed that eight or nine players have already been told that they do not figure in his plans next season at Rovers, whose relegation will be confirmed in Sunday afternoon’s home game with Burton, barring a mathematical miracle.
With just one senior player in Marko Marosi being out of contract, the likelihood is that a host of contracted players have been told they are free to find other clubs in the wake of Doncaster’s desperate campaign.
Ferguson, who has included academy youngsters Will Longbottom and Joe Pugh in his match-day plans for the game with the Brewers, said: There are eight or nine that are on their way out of the club.
“Those that know they aren’t in my plans already know. Those that are staying are fully on board.
“We are very aggressive with our plans and that starts now. Everyone I need on board is on board. We need that; it will be tough in League Two.”
Ferguson, who says he has not given up all hope of convincing Tommy Rowe to drop down into League Two with Rovers – despite initially indicating after the Crewe game that he would want to stay at a higher level – added: “I now need to recruit the best players.
“The board and (chief executive) Gavin Baldwin have been supportive and will continue to do so. We need to crack on.”
Before Rovers can draw a veil on an awful season, they face opponents in Burton on Sunday with pressing business in hand.
The Brewers require just a point to seal promotion to the second-tier for the first time – which would see them at the same level as Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest and Leeds United.