Oldham Athletic v Doncaster Rovers: Motivation not lacking as Rovers strive to end campaign on positive note

MENTION end-of-season jollies to Alex Ferguson or Gordon Strachan back in the day and you would have received a dark, withering look.

Doncaster Rovers manager Darren Ferguson and assistant Gavin Strachan. Picture: Jon Buckle/PA

The pair, during their association together at Aberdeen and Manchester United, were used to competing for honours at the sharp end of seasons, with their will to win being insatiable, whatever the time, place or circumstance.

As you would expect, Strachan’s son Gavin, current No 2 to Darren Ferguson at Doncaster Rovers share those same principles.

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Rovers’ position may be mid-table with little to play for on paper, but their remaining three matches – potentially against two sides still fighting against relegation in Oldham and AFC Wimbledon and another pushing for the title in Wigan – assume a fair bit of importance.

In that regard, they look to be just right up the street of Rovers’ managerial duo, whose side start off with today’s trip to Lancashire against a club managed by revered former Doncaster midfielder Richie Wellens, making a fair fist of his first job in management.

Strachan said: “It is quite ironic really that in the run-in from the past two seasons, and this one, for lots of different reasons, teams still have stuff to play for.

“Oldham on Saturday will be very motivated. Wimbledon, depending on what might go on, will have their own motivation and Wigan on the last day of the season could be fighting for a title.

“So in many respects, I am quite happy with that. I do not really like the dead rubbers as such, I think it shows you a lot about the players and how they react to certain pressures.”