Ferguson: Doncaster Rovers must take control against Hartlepool United

Doncaster Rovers' manager Darren Ferguson.
Doncaster Rovers' manager Darren Ferguson.

Darren Ferguson wants to see his Doncaster Rovers team take control against Hartlepool United today.

The Scot was critical of the performance at Exeter City last weekend - despite Rovers returning to winning ways at St James’ Park.

And he is demanding that his men get more of a foothold in the game against a Pools side who are the second highest scorers away from home in League Two.

“It was an important win last weekend and I would like to think that we’ll get a better performance on Saturday,” said Ferguson. “And one with more control - certainly on the ball in the middle of the pitch in particular.

“We need to make sure we get control of the game in there more.

“We have to get control of possession and that will have a bearing on the sort of team I’m picking.”

Pools have scored 16 goals in eight away games - a total only bettered by Doncaster.

“I wouldn’t think it will be 0-0,” said Hartlepool boss Craig Hignett.

“I’m hoping we keep a clean sheet, because we have got goals in our side.

“They are a good footballing side, they will have a go at you,” he added on Rovers.

“They will go forward but that will suit us.

“They do score goals but I am looking forward to it because of that.”

Andy Butler took a whack to the spine at Oldham and then came off at half time at Exeter with a stiff neck - but he has trained this week and should be okay to start.

Ferguson must decide whether to start super-sub Liam Mandeville or keep him on the bench. His desire for more control in midfield might see Harry Middleton or Paul Keegan come into contention.