Spot-kick failures temper Darren Ferguson's satisfaction over Doncaster Rovers' start

Statistics can often be manipulated, both positively and negatively, in football.

Doncaster Rovers manager Darren Ferguson
Doncaster Rovers manager Darren Ferguson

For Doncaster boss Darren Ferguson, he was keen to stress the plus points, quite literally, following his side’s stalemate with Carlisle on Tuesday night.

Granted, Rovers surrendered a lead and missed a penalty for the third time this season, but Ferguson maintains that the draw could prove a pivotal result come May.

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“That might not be a bad point when we look back at the end of the season,” said the Keepmoat chief, whose side are now unbeaten in eight at home.

“We’re not putting teams away and lately we’ve been getting punished for it. That’s the frustrating thing for me.

“But credit to Carlisle.

“I think they are, in many ways, the best team we have played against this year.”

The Cumbrians’ own statistics make for pleasant reading with a zero in the loss column, and although seven of their 10 games have been drawn, it proves how difficult they have been to defeat.

Had Tommy Rowe converted his penalty, Rovers might have been celebrating ending Carlisle’s record.

“We shouldn’t really be missing from 12 yards,” quipped Ferguson, who is contemplating yet another change of spot-kick taker after similar misses against Accrington and Cambridge.

“We should be scoring more than we are, but that’s something we will just have to work on.”

Staying with the numbers theme, Doncaster currently occupy third place.

However, as with all statistics, there is a flipside – they are just two points clear of the team in 12th position.

“We’re ten games in and we’re not doing brilliant but we’re not far off where we need to be,” added Ferguson.

“It’s been a satisfactory first ten games.”