Doncaster Rovers v Preston North End: Principles unlikely to be shelved by Rovers – O’Driscoll

DONCASTER Rovers manager Sean O’Driscoll is vowing to stick to his guns as pressure mounts at the Keepmoat Stadium.

With only two victories in 18 games since New Year’s Day, Rovers have been dragged into a relegation battle with six games to play.

Tonight’s opponents Preston North End are second-from-bottom and Rovers, currently seven points clear of the drop zone, cannot afford another slip.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

It is three years since the club returned to the second tier of English football after a 50-year absence and, at the start of the season, chairman John Ryan felt the club could even aspire to impact on the play-off race.

After a bright start, Rovers were undone by a crippling injury crisis yet that situation has now improved along with recent performances.

O’Driscoll said: “Our approach for the last three games has been exemplary. We have ticked all the boxes but got nothing and that has probably been our most common experience in the Championship since I have been here.

“We look in good shape and we never look nervous or lacking in confidence,” he insisted. “We have always gone out and tried to do our best. If we continue to do that, we will be a Championship team at the start of the 2011-12 season.

“We have spent the last three seasons in this division and we have never really felt safe,” he added. “It will never be part of the culture of this football club. Safe becomes complacent and we cannot become complacent.

“Success this season will be a different thing to what it has been in previous seasons. We are never going to be one of those clubs that attracts 25,000 people. If we can’t do that and we don’t have a multi, multi, multi-millionaire owner who wants to throw money at it, we can’t rest on our laurels.”

Rovers chairman Ryan, meanwhile, issued a rallying call to supporters ahead of the game and the club hopes to boost the attendance by offering season ticket holders the opportunity to ‘bring a friend for a fiver’.

”We have achieved great things for what is a relatively small team in the Championship,” said Ryan.

Former Hull City manager Phil Brown took charge of the Lillywhites 17 games ago and has now lifted his club off the bottom of the table thanks to three wins and a draw in the last five games.

Brown said: “This is a massive game because Doncaster are a team above us who are catchable if we take three points. If we put our best feet forward both in attack and defence, we have a chance of getting something out of it.”

Last six games: Rovers LDDLLL, Preston LWWWLD.

Last time: Rovers 1 Preston 1; August 15, 2009; Championship.

Referee: SW Mathieson (Cheshire).