Analysis: What business do Doncaster Rovers still need to do?

Tommy Rowe
Tommy Rowe

Having made no fewer than five new signings already, Doncaster Rovers have wasted no time in preparing for life in League Two.

Sports writer Paul Goodwin has taken a look at the business done so far and what boss Darren Ferguson still needs to do if Rovers are to bounce back to the third tier at the first time of asking.

Darren Ferguson

Darren Ferguson

Goalkeeper

Ferguson stills needs to sort out competition for new recruit Ross Etheridge, who appears to have been brought in as the club’s new No 1 stopper. And it is important Etheridge is pushed for the jersey.

Is it any wonder that Thorsten Stuckmann, whose costly mistakes saw him dropped and then later transfer-listed, perhaps became slightly complacent when he was not really challenged at all for the shirt?

Slovakian Marko Marosi, seen very much as back-up option, is currently mulling over a new deal at Rovers. Whether it would be a good move, for either party, is debatable.

Defence

With Mathieu Baudry and Joe Wright coming in to compete with Andy Butler, Craig Alcock and Luke McCullough, Rovers are no longer short of options at centre back.

But they still look vulnerable in the full-back areas, particularly on the left.

Cedric Evina looks more comfortable higher up the pitch so a steady, defensively-minded left-back would be a sensible addition.

If you could find someone who could play left and right that would be a bonus.

Alcock and Mitchell Lund look set to battle it out for the right-back/wing-back berth - but if Felipe Mattioni is available and willing to drop into League Two, he would be a very welcome addition.

Midfield

In McCullough, Paul Keegan and also Harry Middleton, who has stated it is his preferred position, Rovers are well covered for holding midfielders.

And in Tommy Rowe, who will play either to the left or at the tip of the diamond, they have someone they can potentially build the team around.

Ferguson does not tend to play with old-fashioned wingers but the left-footed Matty Blair, who can also play as a secondary striker, gives the manager more options in terms of shape.

If Richard Chaplow follows Nathan Tyson out of Rovers, then he will need replacing with someone capable of breaking into the box, someone who would also push James Coppinger for his place.

Attack

Andy Williams and Liam Mandeville look set to be joined by Gary McSheffrey this week - but Ferguson would no doubt like to go into the season with four main strikers.

He’ll want to complement what he has by adding someone who can bring something different to the table, so either physicality or pace will be on the checklist. Curtis Main would provide the former, but he appears to have burned his bridges.

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