NO ONE could accuse Doncaster Rovers of not getting into the Christmas spirit during the tenure of manager Darren Ferguson.
By and large, it has proved to be the season to be jolly, with Rovers picking up key festive wins over Oldham and Southend in Ferguson’s first campaign in charge in 2015-16 before enjoying an enriching holiday season last term, taking seven points from nine.
Current Yuletide events have seen Doncaster secure back-to-back league victories for the first time in 2017-18 with Ferguson’s side – for the second season running – threatening to make an important statement at the end of a calendar year.
Ferguson, whose side can move up to tenth place with a Roses victory this evening, putting a wholly different complexion on a patchy first half of the season, said: “It is the grind now when you have to dig in and get points and nothing else matters.
“It is a simple case of getting a result and going again and getting another result and going again. It can turn quickly either way, but I have remained confident we can get the results we need. It sets you up for the second part of the season if you come through it.
“With the number of games left, you know what you have got to do and this is the period where you must be strong.”
It may have been a testing first half of the campaign at the Keepmoat Stadium, not helped by a litany of injuries and an annoying recurring habit of conceding important late goals in matches, but Ferguson insists he has always felt that Rovers remain on track in their quest to consolidate back in League One.
He observed: “We have been very unfortunate to lose as many points as we have through late goals. We do keep speaking about that, but it is a fact that if we had not done that, we would have been two points off the play-off places.
“But we are very close to getting to where we need to be.
“You get your ups and downs and, as a manager, you have got to be prepared and I do not feel I get too high or too low. I try to be level in everything we do.”
Last six games: Doncaster DWLDWW Rochdale DWLDDL.
Referee: R Joyce (Cleveland).
Last time: Doncaster 0 Rochdale 2, November 21, 2015; League One.