MANAGER Darren Ferguson believes Doncaster Rovers’ failure to win so far in 2018 can be put down to an inability to defend set-pieces as well as they did in the first half of the season.
The new year began with Rovers sitting tenth in the table and looking to push on in the race for the play-offs.
Since then, however, victories have dried up and Ferguson’s men sit much closer to the relegation zone than the top six.
Just six points separate Doncaster from fourth bottom Oldham Athletic, while Bradford City are ten points ahead of their Yorkshire rivals in the final play-off place.
Ahead of taking on Walsall, Ferguson said: “I have had a good look at our form all the way through Christmas, which was good. But we have now had seven games without a win, six of them have been drawn.
“The main difference has been we are losing too many goals to set-pieces. It has cost us 11 points, and that is a lot.
“Up until the start of the new year we had the second-best record for (conceding from) set-pieces in the league. We had only conceded three.”
Mathieu Baudry has been added to the squad after missing the last three games with a hamstring injury. “He is slightly different to what we have got so it is important to have him back,” added Ferguson, whose side crashed to a 3-0 defeat against the Saddlers in mid-October.
Last six games: Walsall Doncaster LWLLWD Rovers DDDLDD.
Referee: J Brooks (Leicestershire).
Last time: Walsall 2 Doncaster Rovers 0; September 12, 2015; League One.