Coventry City certainly sussed us out on Saturday when beating us 4-1 at the Keepmoat Stadium.
They played the ball on the deck, produced some neat passing and some clinical finishing put us in our place.
Most teams this season have played high balls into the box, which was meat and drink to ‘Corporal’ Jones, but the Sky Blues exposed the defence and scored some quality goals.
Things did not start too well with leading scorer David Cotterill having to be substituted early on due a stomach problem, and they opened the scoring with ex-Rovers loanee Franck Moussa cooly volleying in to the top corner from the edge of the box - the goal was later named Goal of the Day on Sky Sports.
Rovers did have an earlier chance to take the lead, but Billy Paynter shot wide with only the keeper to beat. The league’s top scorer David McGoldrick then added a brace with Barton sticking the knife in further after Chris Brown had given us feint hope when making it 3-1.
Manager Dean Saunders admitted he had been wrong to start Cotterill, due to his illness, and that the defence had a poor game.
It’s time to regroup the troops for the festive period. We have MK Dons tomorrow with Oldham on Boxing Day and Preston North End on the 29th. With only a small squad Dean will be hoping that we don’t pick up any injuries.
Two of the Supporters’ Club coaches have been invited for turkey sarnies and possibly a pint, en-route before the game at Oldham. The coaches leave Keepmoat at 10am and there still are a few seats left.
Tomorrow sees The Star’s Steve Hossack report on his last home match as he is taking early retirement. We wish him all the best.
It’s been a pleasure working alongside him, even if he does edit my column most weeks to save any libel action.
It has been very quiet down at the club this week apart from talk of James Coppinger returning from his loan spell at Nottingham Forest. As good a player as he is, can we afford to keep him at the club? Watch this space.
Rovers have a new sponsor for the East stand which will bring in some cash to the club. Season ticket holders can pick up their club newsletter from the ticket office and use the voucher to treat five friends to free tickets for a chosen game free of charge.
Also a crèche has opened to cater for Rovers fans with young kids to attend a home game.
It only remains for me to wish all Star readers and Rovers fans throughout the land a very happy Christmas and let’s hope that 2013 is the year of the Rovers.
Please book early the away match coaches. With coach companies shut for the holiday period we need to make sure we can get the fans to the game. Unfortunately, I have to miss tomorrow’s game but give them an extra cheer for me. Coaches to Oldham depart early buses Retford. Phone Paul on 07961-727769 or Len South on 01302-817347.