Video - Colchester United v Doncaster Rovers: Tommy Rowe and Darren Ferguson eager for change in fortune

TOMMY ROWE and Darren Ferguson have been here before.

Tommy Rowe, pictured playing for Peterborough three years ago when he was again battling to avoid the drop, is hoping for a different outcome with Doncaster (Picture: James Hardisty)

The footballing friends have reunited in a battle of attrition at the bottom of a table for the second time in three years.

And the duo are entitled to be particularly desperate for a different outcome up the A1 at Doncaster Rovers than what transpired at former club Peterborough United in a crazy end to 2012-13.

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Posh – then managed by current Rovers chief Ferguson and captained by Rowe – suffered one of the unluckiest relegations of modern times, going down with a record Championship haul of 54 points after a shattering late 3-2 defeat at Crystal Palace when a point would have saved their skins.

Tommy Rowe, pictured playing for Peterborough three years ago when he was again battling to avoid the drop, is hoping for a different outcome with Doncaster (Picture: James Hardisty)

Neither will forget that Spring day in the capital in a hurry, while 200 miles up the road joy was unbridled at the John Smith’s Stadium as Huddersfield Town and Barnsley fans celebrated safety on a memorable ‘Survival Saturday’ on May 4, 2013, amid hearty cries of ‘Yorkshire, Yorkshire.’

Just under three years on and Rowe is now doing his level best to help a White Rose side avoid the relegation fate as endured by Posh and despite still bearing the obvious scars of those developments, the midfielder’s appetite for this fresh relegation fight is considerable.

Even if things go down to the wire as they did on that afternoon at Selhurst Park – although, hopefully, they will not.

Rowe said: “A lot of players have felt it (relegation) and it is horrible.

Tommy Rowe, pictured playing for Peterborough three years ago when he was again battling to avoid the drop, is hoping for a different outcome with Doncaster (Picture: James Hardisty)

“Remarkably in that year, it was one of the highest totals ever to go down and it wasn’t nice.

“But we never gave up and we know that is so crucial now for us here.

“With the quality of the squad and knowing where the team should be, we know we will never give up and we will hopefully start turning it around very, very soon.”

Rovers’ situation may be critical ahead of what effectively amounts to two weekend cup finals, starting with today’s game at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.

There is no respite for Ferguson’s side, who welcome another League One relegation rival in Blackpool 72 hours later on Bank Holiday Monday.

While Ferguson is loathe to set Easter targets, it is fair to say that if Rovers do not win at least one of those fixtures, then their survival hopes will look increasingly slim.

Fourth-from-bottom Rovers head into today’s game at basement club Colchester without a win in 12 league matches, with a pitiful haul of three points from the last 36 available representing a truly shocking figure.

Without a win since January 2 – you have to go back to December 12 for their last three points on home soil – you would be forgiven for thinking Doncaster’s confidence levels to be truly decimated.

But Rowe, who joined ahead of last weekend’s unlucky home loss to former club Posh, begs to differ and despite only being at the club a short while, he genuinely believes he has detected enough fight, character and quality to 
arrest Rovers’ shocking downturn.

Rowe, whose signing has been augmented by the loan additions of experienced winger Gary McSheffrey and back-up Norwich goalkeeper Remi Matthews this week, added: “Every player relishes a challenge; whether it be the top or the bottom of the league, you have got to go in there and give your all.

“We have quite a few games left to go and change it around. It’s a big difference (being) here, but a good one.

“We have not had the recent results, but now is the time to dig in. The belief is there – although you would probably think it is not, it is definitely there.

“Especially before the game against Peterborough, I noticed a lot of positive talking and the performance showed that as well, despite us not getting the result.

“There were a lot of positives to take and we just need to go and turn it into a win.

“But you can talk about belief all day.

“We must get the results. I do think it will change. We are raring to go in these two big games, but we must get the results.”

Rowe’s first stint under Ferguson helped propel his career to new heights and he wants his second assignment with the Scot to enable him to push on in his career again after a difficult few seasons at Wolves where he has largely been out of the picture.

Twenty seven next month, Rowe, who had a spell earlier this term at Rovers’ neighbours Scunthorpe United, added: “When I first joined Peterborough, they were in a good place and I knew this was the place where I could grow as a player.

“Same again here; despite being at the club a few days, it is a good place in terms of the mentality, which is the important thing.

“I am convinced we have more than enough to stay up.”

Last six games: Colchester LDWLDL, Doncaster DLLLLL.

Referee: K Friend (Leicestershire).

Last time: Colchester 0 Doncaster 1; August 23, 2014; League One.