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Paul Wheelock column: No blue Monday as new order kicks in
THE rest of the country may have been feeling blue on Monday – but not Rovers supporters.
There was no chance of the Ewood Park faithful wallowing on what is believed to be the most miserable day of the year.
Not after their side’s mightily impressive performance against Manchester City in the FA Cup on Saturday.
And not after a promising start to 2014 which has also seen Rovers win at Elland Road for the first time in a decade and, with the minimum of fuss, wrap up two knockdown deals.
One player, Tom Cairney, is already an integral member of Gary Bowyer’s team and another, Rudy Gestede, showed against City what an asset he could become.
After the annus horribilis that was 2013 you cannot blame Rovers fans for feeling cautiously optimistic about what lies ahead, on the field at least.
Boss Bowyer, never one for going overboard, is sensible to suggest that this is not a time for getting carried away.
Especially when you consider just two weeks ago it felt like the whole world was going to cave in – and all because his side failed to break down a stubborn and well organised Sheffield Wednesday.
But, bar the freak first half against Birmingham City, what has happened since then has been encouraging.
Now the challenge facing the Rovers players is maintaining the standards they set against Leeds United on New Year’s Day and against Manchester City at the weekend. And that means beating Doncaster at Ewood on Saturday.
Donny, in complete contrast to Rovers, go into the match desperately short of confidence after an eight-game winless run.
Now it is difficult to predict the outcome of Championship matches from one week to the next.
But if Rovers are to hold genuine play-off aspirations – and, sitting just two points shy of the top six, they are certainly well placed for a promotion push – then this is a game they must win.
Given the way they played against City – who they frustrated and threatened in equal measure – and Leeds before that, there is absolutely no reason why they cannot claim the three points.
And if they do they will send their supporters bouncing into work on Monday with a smile on their faces once again.
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