THOUGH Tuesday night will have sapped a lot of energy from the hard-working Rovers side, it provided them with the perfect warm-up for Saturday’s visit of Stevenage.
Eager to stick with a counter-attacking approach for his own side, Dean Saunders can send out his men with a ‘more of the same’ message because he can expect similar from Boro as he got from Sheffield United.
Rovers’ impressive back line will have to deal with another load of aerial bombardment from out wide and rapid counterattacking.
The more attacking-minded players will have to face a strong defence who will maintain their shape throughout.
Seeing the centre half pairing Saunders eventually put together, there is little surprise he was interested in taking John Ashton and Mark Roberts from Boro in the summer.
Both have the ‘big bully’ gene in them that makes Rob Jones and Jamie McCombe so imposing in both attack and defence.
If Saunders opts for a lone front man again, that striker will have very little time on the ball.
Stevenage will also look to capitalise on set-pieces.
The main difference Rovers are likely to face from Tuesday is that Stevenage will not be quite as keen to control possession as the Blades were.
This could easily lead to a bit of a face off between two sides intent on counterattacking, neither wanting to blink first.
Anthony Grant and Greg Tansey will sit in front of the back four, leaving on-form – and goalscoring – trio Luke Freeman, Robin Shroot and Lucas Atkins to mill around a lone striker.