DONCASTER ROVERS: Skipper Rob Jones leads the way

Ticking off: Rob Jones with Paul McKenna after being fouled, resulting in a red card for the Hull man.
Ticking off: Rob Jones with Paul McKenna after being fouled, resulting in a red card for the Hull man.

LEAGUE One holds few secrets or fears for newly-elected Doncaster Rovers’ skipper Rob Jones - though he does respect the players and teams in the third tier of English Football.

“I spent the whole season playing in League One last year and there wasn’t one easy game no matter where you were in the table,” he said. “They were all difficult games and you take each one on it’s merit.”

The centre-back was a key figure in the Sheffield Wednesday side which secured automatic promotion from League One last season prior to new boss Dave Jones taking over from Gary Megson and making changes to the faltering Owls.

The defender’s experience of League One will certainly come in handy in tomorrow’s game away to leaders Yeovil at Huish Park.

“It’s a long journey down there and it’s a tough place to go,” said Jones, who helped the Owls claim a 3-2 win over the Glovers at Huish Park last September.

“With the fans being close to the pitch there is always an atmoshere there. That obviously helps Yeovil but as a visiting player you’ve just got to get on with it.

“At the end of the day no matter where you play it is only a football match and you are only playing against eleven players no matter how much noise the home fans make.

“As the away team you obviously try and quieten the home supporters as much as possible and for us it will be just about focusing on the game.

“It’s important that you start well, whether it’s home or away, and make people think and make the opposition work hard.

“We’ve got some very good players here so we want the players who are good on the ball, on the ball, then we’ll do well.

“The manager has put a good squad together and it’s a good group.

“It’s a hard-working group and everyone is here for the same reason. They want to do well for Doncaster - which is a good thing - and they all want to do well for each other.”

Rovers’ bright start to their league campaign, which saw them win their first three league and cup games made a mockery of the problems encountered by Rovers boss Dean Saunders in trying to put a squad together.

Not for Saunders the luxury of having the bulk of pre-season to work with the players he had brought in, more a mad scramble on the eve of the campaign to try and recruit enough players to fill his subs’ bench - something he had failed to achieve until Tuesday’s 3-2 win Capital One Cup win over Hull City.

Jones was one of the players to arrive at the club late in Rovers’ pre-season campaign - though he was by no means the last.

But apart from having the misfortune to score an own goal in each of his first two appearances in a Doncaster shirt, Jones wasted no time in stamping his authority on the back-four and quickly looked as though he had been at the club for a couple of seasons rather than a couple of weeks.

“Did experience help? Possibly,” said the 6’ 7” tall defender.

“The more times you play, and the more time you spend on the training pitch together, the better things become. There is there is still more to come and I’m sure there will be a few new faces here and there.

“We’ve started well (six points from three games) and the way we controlled the games against Walsall and Bury, to say we’d not been together as a team very long, bodes well for the future.

“But we’ve keep our feet on the ground and focus on what’s coming and not what’s happened.”

Rovers lost their 100 per cent record when going down to a late 1-0 defeat at home to Crawley last weekend.

The result was a big disappointment to Jones, as it was to the rest of his team-mates, and not even the fact that he was named man-of-the-match could soften the blow.

Rovers looked to be heading for a second successive defeat after conceding two goals in the opening ten minutes of Tuesday’s Capital One Cup second round tie against Championship side Hull City at the Keepmoat Stadium.

But a goal by makeshift striker David Syers put them back into contention with Jones levelling the scores at 2-2 with a second half winner.

Although delighted with the result, Jones soon turned his thoughts to tomorrow’s game.

“The league is our bread and butter and more important,” he said.

He added: “It’s important that we get back to winning ways after the Crawley game and after Tuesday’s second half performance there is no reason why we can’t do that.

“We’ll be going there looking to pick up a result.”

Teams and ref

Yeovil (possible): Stetch, McAllister, Hinds, Webster, Ayling, Blizzard, Foley, Upson, Marsh-Brown, Reid, Hayter.

ROVERS (possible): G Woods, Quinn, McCombe, Jones, Spurr, Coppinger/Cotterill, Syers, M Woods, Bennett, Paynter, Brown.

Dean Mohareb (Cheshire): Has dished out ten yellow cards in three games this season. Booked five players and sent off two in Yeovil’s 1-0 win at MK Dons last season. Issued 87 yellow and six red cards in total last season.