Q&A With Doncaster Rovers

  • April 08, 2014 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/58f14

Ahead of the 11th meeting between Bolton and Doncaster Rovers, we have got the views of a Donny supporter.

Wanderers go into the game on the back of a 1-0 victory at Huddersfield Town on Saturday, while Rovers were beaten 3-1 by Birmingham City at the Keepmoat Stadium.

In our latest edition of Q&A, we have spoken to James Errington (@JimmyDRFC) - a 19-year-old Doncaster supporter whose first game was a 1-0 victory over Torquay United in November 2003. He lists James Coppinger, Richie Wellens and Billy Sharp among his favourite current players, while Michael McIndoe, Brian Stock and James O'Connor topping his list of former players.

Ahead of Tuesday's game, James shares his views on Bolton's pre-season tag of 'title contenders', former Wanderers defender Abdoulaye Meite and what sort of reception Matt Mills will receive on his return to the Keepmoat.

Q: Doncaster have been on a good run of form in recent weeks and look good to stay in the Championship for another year. Are you looking up, or still looking over your shoulder?

A: Looking over our shoulder. This league is very unpredictable and the past few weeks have shown that the bottom few teams can string a few good results together. It wasn't that long ago that we were in free-fall and staring League 1 in the face. We just have to take each game as it comes and take it as a cup final until we are mathematically safe.

Q: Bolton have failed to live up to their 'title contenders' tag for the last two years and currently languish in 15th. Are you surprised by their struggles or are expectations on former Premier League sides too high?

A: I'm very surprised by the position they find themselves in. After the late surge in form which almost earned them a play-off place at the end of last season, I had tipped them to succeed at the second attempt.

In terms of former Premier League sides setting their expectations too high, absolutely. This league isn't to be taken lightly. Many teams have been relegated and expected any easy ride back into the 'big time', such as Leeds United, Sheffield United and Wolverhampton Wanderers. Just look at how quickly you can be washed away with the tide!

Q: Wanderers have former Donny defender Matt Mills on the books at the Reebok Stadium. What are your memories of him as a player and what sort of reception will he receive on his return to the Keepmoat Stadium?

A: Matt was a fantastic player for us and I'm sure he will get a great reception on his return to the Keepmoat. He was part of our promotion side that beat Leeds at Wembley and was an absolute steal from Manchester City for £300,000 after his loan deal had finished - which, at the time, was our record transfer.

Matt was a really solid defender and it was no surprise to see him linked with bigger clubs and eventually landed, when he was taken under Brendan Rodgers' wing at Reading.

Q: On the flip side, former Bolton man Abdoulaye Meite now turns out for Doncaster. How has he done since joining in January?

A: He's been a breath of fresh air! Abdoulaye came into the side after a period when we had a makeshift back four and slotted in seamlessly.

He is now in the heart of the defence and is a calming influence on the rest of the side. His experience has been vital for us since he joined; he's a real asset.

Q: Which Doncaster player is likely to be the biggest threat to Bolton's hopes of winning on Tuesday night?

A: Richie Wellens. He pulls the strings in the midfield and is also the current captain, with Rob Jones absent until next season.

After rejecting Queens Park Rangers in January, in favour of a longer contract at Doncaster, it is apparent how much he makes our midfield tick. With him absent, we lack creativity and leadership in the centre of the park which I feel is important for any team to have.

Q: Switching things around, which Bolton player do you think Paul Dickov will be most concerned about?

A: Lukas Jutkiewicz is going to pose a huge threat. The up-turn in form - and goal difference - of the Trotters in the past few months has been no surprise since his signing at the back end of January. With us counting the cost of our injuries at the back, not for the first time this season, he is going to be a real handful up-front.

There is every chance that Abdoulaye Meite may not be able to overcome his injury problems for this game, which would mean first choice right-back Paul Quinn switching to centre-back - with versatile right winger James Coppinger covering at right back.

Q: Finally, what do you think the final score will be and why?

A: Bolton are on a great run of form currently - only losing once in ten games is a great achievement for any team in this league. There have been some great results in that run, such as the 5-1 demolition at Elland Road and the two draws against the play-off chasing sides Wigan Athletic and Derby County.

However, we are also in good form and up until Birmingham rolled into town on Saturday, we had an unbeaten home league record that stretched back to Boxing Day - 8 games.

If the reverse fixture earlier on in the season is anything to go on, the battle in midfield will be key. We lost 3-0 that day and in truth it could have been a lot more.

Tuesday will be a closely contested game and I can't see past a draw, in all fairness.

Prediction: 1-1

Burnden Aces would like to thank James for taking the time to answer our questions. You can read more of his views by following him on Twitter - @JimmyDRFC.

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