Southampton v Doncaster Rovers: Paul Goodwin’s verdict

The Rovers' team give a minutes applause before the game against Millwall. Picture: Andrew Roe
The Rovers' team give a minutes applause before the game against Millwall. Picture: Andrew Roe

A WEEK is a very long time in football.

Little more than a week ago Doncaster’s players were rolling around in unison in a corner of Upton Park, celebrating a James Coppinger goal that was meant to spark Rovers’ revival.

Two disastrous home defeats in the space of a week have followed, and people are queuing up to chastise ‘the experiment’.

This time next week Rovers could potentially be out of the bottom three.

Football is a fickle industry.

It’s unpredictability is why we love it so much - although that’s currently little consolation for anyone connected with Doncaster.

The slipshod performances against Derby and Millwall defied any logic at all.

Against the Rams, Rovers struggled to do the basics right. Individual mistakes were to blame against the Lions.

The double hammer blow comes on the back of a spirited unbeaten run which seemed to suggest Rovers were up for the fight.

A pointless return has left Doncaster on the ropes - but it does not have to be a knockout blow.

The only way Rovers will survive, however, is by sticking together. And that means sticking together both on and off the pitch.

Leave the scapegoats and finger pointing for another day.

Rovers have shown this season, albeit sporadically, they can still mix it with it the best sides in the Championship.

So who is to say Dean Saunders’ men can’t repeat December’s victory against Southampton when they make the long journey to St Mary’s on Saturday?

It sounds like an unlikely tale against a side closing in on the Premier League but this entire season, from the change of manager to change of approach, has been a tale of the unexpected.

The Championship’s better sides have often brought the best out of Rovers - so don’t rule out a coupon busting performance.

A week is a long time in football; a lot can happen in the final five weeks of the season.

All hope is not lost, although it soon will be if lessons are not learned from the last fews days.