IT may only be late October, but there will be a certain amount of desperation on show at Gigg Lane this afternoon.
Nineteenth-placed Rovers face an acid test at fourth-from-bottom Bury, with management and supporters demanding an immediate response after last weekend’s embarrassing second half when they conceded three unanswered goals to Walsall en route to a grim 3-0 home loss.
I feel that the teams we have played around us – such as Walsall on Saturday where we got beat and Wimbledon, who we lost to and Gillingham who we only drew with – means that it is important if we are going to be in that part of the league that we have got to pick up points against them.Darren Ferguson
Manager Darren Ferguson, under-fire from some sections of supporters, admits he is also conscious of the pressing need for Rovers to remedy their poor sequence of form against sides at the wrong end of League One – with today’s Lancastrian venue being the perfect place to start.
Gigg Lane was one of the venues where Rovers lost during their dispiriting nosedive to relegation in the spring of 2016 and it is exactly the sort of encounter where Ferguson’s side need to earn points from if they are to get their current season back on an even keel.
Ferguson said: “There is a long way to go.
“But certainly I feel that the teams we have played around us – such as Walsall on Saturday where we got beat and Wimbledon, who we lost to and Gillingham who we only drew with – means that it is important if we are going to be in that part of the league that we have got to pick up points against them.
“It is two teams desperate for three points on Saturday.”
Much has been made of Rovers’ under-par start to the season, with players and management under scrutiny, but Ferguson believes that everyone should take collective responsibility to yield an upturn.
He added: “I know that the effort and commitment is there from the football club and I do not think it is whether the players have let me down or the fans down or themselves down.
“I think it is collective thing and everyone has got to be very aware that the results are not where we want them to be.
“No-one said at the start of the season that we were going to run away with the league or it was going to be easy and I have always maintained the same thing – and been very consistent in that – that it is going to be a league where we have got to learn quickly to be competitive.
“But certainly the manner in which we lost last Saturday was the most disappointing thing for everyone.”