Doncaster manager Paul Dickov wants his side to finish the season strongly despite rumours of his players relaxing towards the end of the season. Dickov was interviewed after the 1-1 draw with Rochdale on Saturday, stating that “If players want to go on holiday then they can“. Rovers are on a poor run of form with one win in their last six as their play off push appears to be coming to an end.
Defender Reece Wabara has played every minute for the Yorkshire club and stated “Mid table is probably where we deserve to be, as honest as it sounds it is probably right”. Wabara is out of contract in the summer and is keen to impress in the run in to earn himself a new contract “I am unsure of my future but need to keep impressing all the way till May”.
Rovers sat 6th at the end of February but after just 8 points in 8 games they have dropped into mid table but both Dickov and Butler want a strong end to the season “Our season is not over, we want to finish as high as possible, there is still 15 points up for grabs so a lot to play for”. Rovers threw away a 1 goal advantage at home to Rochdale on Saturday with Dickov unhappy at the defending “1-0 up but not playing great, we have to manage the game properly, we didn’t”.
Rovers travel south to face Leyton Orient tomorrow night with East London club still fighting for their life at the bottom of League 1. Orient picked up a 1-1 draw away at Crewe on Saturday but O’s boss Fabio Liverani knows that it could have been more “we created many chances in the second half but unfortunately we couldn’t put it in”.
Darius Henderson levelled for the O’s after they fell behind and captain Nathan Clarke was quick to see where improvement can take place “we’ve got to take positives from it, we’ve got to look at the 2nd half and see we can certainly improve in the opponents box”. Orient looked more defensively stable at Crewe after conceding three at home to Gillingham on Easter Monday but Clarke hinted at “staying switched on, we can be day dreaming after so much possession but they had a threat”.
Orient’s fate is still in their own hands with Clarke stating that “we have to concentrate on ourselves”. Orient sit on 47 points, outside the relegation places on goal difference but with 4 of their 5 remaining games against sides in the top 7, Liverani is hoping that “we keep with the same trend, our spirit won’t be any different”. Orient have performed relatively well against sides in the top 10 with draws against Barnsley and Preston since Christmas but the O’s need to put the Crewe disappointment behind them.
Dickov hinted several times about how poor Rochdale’s goal was defensively and has made it clear that Orient have many good players. “They have hit a good bit of form, they have Dagnall, Cox, Mooney and Henderson who would a handful in any division. They have a lot of experience at the back and it will be a really tough game”. Rovers have fared well on the travels losing only 5 games all season (3-0 Bristol C, 3-0 Walsall, 3-1 Fleetwood, 3-0 Vale and 3-2 Sheff Utd).
- Only the top 5 have a better away record that Donny
- P20 – W8, D7, L5, F32, A28 – 31/54 points
- Rovers have 2 wins in their last 8 away (3-1 Coventry and 5-0 Crawley) – 10 points from last 24 available
- Failed to keep clean sheet in last 8 – 12 all season with 5 away from home
- Only failed to score in 4/20 away matches
- Only lost 5 away but all those games conceded at least 3 goals
Orient’s form has picked up in comparison to Rovers dropping away but both sides will want the points for different reasons.
- Doncaster 9 points from last 30 available – W2, D3, L5 (Only Crewe, Port Vale and Yeovil picked up less
- Orient 15 points from last 30 available – W4, D3, L3
- Doncaster have 4th worse record in the first half of matches – Only Colchester (30), Crawey (31) and Oldham (32) have conceded more in the first half (29)
- 9 out of their 14 wins have come when they have scored the first goal but only collected 2 points from last 12 available when netted first
- Conceded first in 23 games
- 22 of their 32 away goals been in the second half
Orient look set to make changes once more with Liverani hinting that “we have to manage players till the end of the season, where we play frequently”. Clarke was keen to praise Orients wide men after Crewe, “We’re a confident group, we knew in second half we would come at them and McAnuff and Hedges where threats all game and with Hendo (Henderson) and Dagnall up front we always have a chance”.
Orient will be hoping to put chances away to give them all 3 points and will be looking for a repeat of their 2-0 victory at the Keepmoat earlier in the season. Goals from Jay Simpson and Darius Henderson gave Orient the win back in October but it was the East London side’s first win in 9 attempts against Donny.
- Last 9 meetings – Orient won 1, Drew 3 and Doncaster won 5
Doncaster have concerns over Paul Keegan and Luke McCullough ahead of tomorrow’s game but apart from those two, Dickov has a fully fit squad to choose from. Rovers have picked up 9 of their wins against the bottom 10: record below:
- Played 17 – W9 D3, L5 – 26 points
- Away Games – P8 – W5, D1, L2- 3-0 at Vale, 3-0 at Walsall
- Kyle Bennett has netted 3 in his last 2 and has 8 league goals this term
- Nathan Tyson, Curtis Main also have 8 league goals but Tyson has netted in last 8 while Main has no goal in last 4 games
Prediction – Leyton Orient 1-1 Doncaster