Barnsley build-up: Rovers must re-discover their mojo to stop short January blues

Rovers have missed the energy of Dean Furman in midfield.

Rovers have missed the energy of Dean Furman in midfield.

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If Doncaster Rovers could have cherry-picked a game to help cure their FA Cup hangover, Barnsley at home would be right up there.

Staff, players and fans alike - and no doubt the club’s accountant - had every right to be crying into their beer after defeat at Bristol City cost Doncaster a £300,000 payday.

It was a big missed opportunity for Rovers, the sort capable of deflating a dressing room that was buzzing over the festive period.

But this weekend’s local derby could prove to be the perfect pick-me-up and help Rovers kick any signs of the January blues.

Doncaster’s performances over the Christmas period fostered genuine hopes of a new year play-off push. They were characterised by a relentless work ethic and boundless energy.

But to maintain the confidence and momentum generated during that run, Rovers need a positive result against the Tykes this weekend.

In the 2-2 draw at Oldham, and in Tuesday night’s replay at Ashton Gate, Rovers failed to re-produce the sort of intensity and solidity that served them so well over the holiday period.

Dean Furman’s departure has disrupted Doncaster’s flow and it has been rather a case of square pegs in round holes in the last two games, trying to cover for the South African’s absence.

A switch to 4-4-2 would be no surprise tomorrow. But regardless of the system, Rovers must rediscover their festive mojo - and stop any cup hangover spreading to the league.