TO a group of players currently locked into the least productive run in the club’s history, setting a target of four wins from the final seven games seems almost cruel.
This, though, is what Darren Ferguson believes Doncaster Rovers need if a second relegation in two years is to be avoided.
The odds are firmly stacked against such a transformation but Ferguson insists victory today at Rochdale could change everything.
“We have to hope that a first win can get us up and running,” said the Rovers chief. “We have to get that soon, as you hope then it can catapult another few wins. It can happen, Colchester have won the last couple now. It can give you that belief.”
When Rovers beat Southend United on January 2, Ferguson’s men were 11th in the table and casting hopeful glances at the play-off places.
Since then, however, the wheels have fallen off Doncaster’s season courtesy of a 14-game run that has yielded just three points.
Two of those came against Gillingham and Fleetwood Town in the matches that immediately followed the victory over Phil Brown’s Southend, underlining just what a mess the past three months have become with 11 defeats and a 1-1 draw at home to Millwall making up those last dozen outings.
Never before in the club’s history has just one point been claimed from a possible 36, while the current run of seven straight defeats is their worst since the truly dire season that brought relegation from the Football League 18 years ago.
“We have made it difficult for ourselves,” added Ferguson. “But there is no resignation set in. Definitely not. The half hour at Colchester (in the 4-1 Good Friday defeat) was very worrying but the response I got on Monday was what I expected. Though I did expect the win as well.”