The Keepmoat – surely my least favourite away trip, whilst the state of Belle Vue gave Donny every need to renew their home, I can’t bring myself to like new grounds, coupled with the traffic trying to escape the place and – of course, perhaps most importantly – the fact we don’t seem to be able to get either a performance or a result whenever we visit there! Other than that it’s fine!
Forest are likely to make changes to their line-up, although with Rovers being very much on the passing-side side of the footballing spectrum perhaps a similar tactic to that deployed so well against Swansea might not be a bad plan. I would expect to see Wils come in for Chambers who had a shaky night on Tuesday, Earnie remains sidelined so suspect Dex will be leading the line. Or perhaps Adebola after an impressive turn from the bench midweek?
Our hosts have a few defensive injuries, with Martis the latest player to join Chambers and Thomas on the treatment table – aside from that Sean O’Driscoll has no other absentees. Doncaster have lost their last two games – both away from home – at QPR and Coventry – and haven’t won in their last three.
They have the same number of points as us, but a poorer goal difference – but of course, as we well know from our many encounters with the South Yorkshire side over the last few years – they’re not to be underestimated. Coppinger – a winger I’ve oft wondered whether we should make a move for – is their top scorer with four goals so far (admittedly three of which came in one game).
Billy Sharp is someone who generally does well against us too, netting against us in both fixtures last season and indeed, someone who has been a thorn in our side regardless of which shirt he’s wearing!
It’s good to hear positive words from Billy prior to the match, and indeed – that the ‘hoodoo’ of a trip to the Keepmoat is in his mind too whether he buys into that kind of thing or not. So a freshened up team, eager to prove our hosts don’t have some kind of hold over us – sounds promising, doesn’t it?
Certainly that trudge through the swamp to get to the coach parking area would become no chore at all if we get to see us claim three points. I think there’s a reasonable chance of that, but Billy needs to tactically out-think O’Driscoll and the boys need to perform – and, dare I say, it’s about time the strikers started weighing in with some goals, too…
I’m hopeful of this, but can’t help but fear the worst as has been my conditioning from those unprofitable trips up the A614 in the past, but I do have faith in Billy to pull something out the bag. Here’s hoping!