They say there is no harder job in football than being the England manager, but surely Marketing Manager at Millwall tops it. No matter how much good work you do a basic game of word association involving your club will always bring forth the word “hooligans”. Even for Rovers fans, a group unlikely to ever find themselves narrated by Danny Dyer, the South Londoners have that same reputation thanks to their fans’ decision to charge the West Stand on their last visit to the Keepmoat Stadium. Peace loving Millwall fans must clasp their hands to their face in disbelief and despair more often than Oliver Hardy…
Enough about off the field and back to matters on the green stuff. The Championship has settled into it’s usual crazy position switching self. At 4pm last Saturday Rovers sat 6th in the table. Fifty minutes later they were 15th. Nine places dropped in forty-five minutes of football. In other divisions this sort of thing only happens on the opening day of the season. Outside the top two in this division positions have little significance. The nine places between Doncaster and Reading should be insurmountable but a win for Rovers this afternoon will bridge that same gap.
Today’s fixture with Millwall offers Rovers a decent opportunity to bridge that gap and get back into the table’s top half. Though the Lions started the season excellently they have begun to stutter of late and now sit just a place and a goal above Doncaster in the table. Though the Londoners have talent in their ranks they are arguably a much more daunting prospect at The Den where they are more able to unsettle the established order. If Millwall come to Spith Yorkshire and play their usual game then Rovers have every chance of taking all three points. However, should the Lions set up camp in their own half then it could be a long old afternoon.
The big news for Rovers this week is of course the loan signing of David Healy who will most likely start at the top of Rovers usual fluid 4-3-2-1 system. Goals though have not exactly been hard to come by this season; 23 in fourteen games represents a much better hail than Rovers previous two seasons suggesting that it’s at the back where the club needs to strengthen. But if Sean O’Driscoll, the shrewd tactician that he is thinks that Healy brings the team something they need then who am I to argue. On to business and as camper men than me have said “Bring on the Wall!”
Rovers are without at least four players for this fixture. Billy Sharp remains sidelined with the hamstring tear suffered against Sheffield United, whilst knee ligament injuries keep Simon Gillett and George Friend out and Adam Lockwood is also unavailable. Martin Woods is also a doubt as he continues to struggle with a groin problem. Stop sniggering at the back, we all know about the video. The good news is that James Chambers and Wayne Thomas are available for selection again having come through an hour of a friendly against Hull City unscathed.
Millwall have been handed a boost of their own with legendary striker Neil Harris seemingly set for a return having returned to training following an ankle problem. Theo Robinson remains a doubt though after picking up a knock in last week’s match with Ipswich.
Predicted Doncaster Rovers line-up
(4-2-2-1-1) Neil Sullivan; Mustapha Dumbuya, James O’Connor, Shelton Martis, Joseph Mills; Martin Woods, John Oster, Brian Stock; Jamie Coppinger, James Hayter; David Healy
subs: Gary Woods, Wayne Thomas, Sam Hird, James Chambers, Mark Wilson, Dean Shiels, Steve Brooker
Travelling to the Game
A large number of Millwall fans were so impressed by the Keepmoat Stadium on their first visit that they decided to charge across to the West Stand and take a proper look at the home facilities too. Unfortunately the stewards and police intervened before the ‘Wall fans could properly offer their praise on the pies available at the Kiosk. Hopefully those travelling from Saarf Landan will be content enough in the North Stand today. Those who are travelling up for the game can find all they need to know about the ground in our very own guide to the Keepmoat Stadium. You’ll find all this info, under the ‘Keepmoat Stadium’ tab at the top of the page because us Yorkshire-folk are matter of fact like that. Sadly this information does not include where its all kicking off, where the old bill will be waiting, or whose manor you’re on, but the rest is fairly helpful.
Hello! Hello! Our Twitter is back, our Twitter is back. Yep, after far too long a hiatus November sees Viva Rovers back in the stadium and back relaying what we see, feel and hear Geoff whinge about to you lucky people. Our occasionally enjoyed often moaned about live-match Twitter coverage is actually live once more, meaning you can keep up with events at the Keepmoat in bursts of 140 characters or less. If you’re on Twitter follow @vivarovers and the #drfc hashtag, or alternatively just keep an eye on twitter.com/vivarovers.
If you’re not near a computer or a fancy mobile phone then you will be able to get regular updates courtesy of the lovely people at BBC Radio Sheffield. Local Radio station of the year appearently, so must be worth a listen. Alternatively you can follow events from the comfort of your sofa and via the discomfort of Garth Crooks by tuning into BBC’s Score Interactive, accessible via the red button from 3pm onwards.