Despite the current weather and the uncertainty it may bring this weekend, we got in touch with Glen Wilson over at Viva Rovers to get his view on the planned fixture between Donny and The Reds this Saturday.

Do they see Barnsley FC as a rival to be reckoned with? Read on ...

Ahead of our game on Saturday 4th December, how do you rate your chances of condemning us to our first away defeat at Donny in five years?
Slightly liberal use of statistics there as it only includes two seasons in which Rovers have actually played Barnsley, but all things considered Rovers would probably be favourites to win this. Barnsley are in form, but their away form isn’t great and Doncaster have been strong at the Keepmoat so the smart money is on us.

About Doncaster Rovers, tell us something new, something old and something borrowed?
I’ll switch ‘something’ to ‘someone’ to make this question easier to answer. Mustapha Dumbuya is someone new, plucked from non-league a year ago he’s cemented a place in the team this season with some exciting full-back performances. Someone old is Neil Sullivan who despite being in his 40s now continues to make some great saves and provide valuable experience to the squad, whilst the key someone borrowed is probably David Healy. Surplus to requirements at Sunderland he’s struck up a good partnership with James Hayter whilst here on loan.


What were your pre-season expectations for Doncaster Rovers and how are you fairing compared to those?
I’m a realist so my pre-season expectation was to avoid relegation and my hope was to finish around mid-table. With that in mind Rovers are fairing very well, especially considering the number of injuries the squad has suffered since the summer.

You seem to be building a nice little outfit at the Keepmoat with some tidy players, but what are your squad’s weaknesses?
The squad’s main weaknesses are its height and its physicality. We are in the main a small side so struggle to match the league’s more direct sides, as well as always looking susceptable at set-pieces.

What would you say the squad’s strengths are?
The team’s strength is, for want of a less general term, its footballing ability. Sean O’Driscoll has built this team around a fluid approach to the game and each of the players know their part and their role in the system. He has groomed a team of players confident on the ball and confident in their ability to retain it.

Who is Doncaster Rovers star player, squad clown and undervalued gem, in your eyes?
The star player this season has been James Coppinger. Our longest serving player is in the midst of arguably his most impressive form for the club. In terms of undervalued gems its hard to fathom, especially as a Welshman, how John Oster is not being selected to play for Wales. The midfielder has been solidly our best player and best technical footballer for the best part of a year now. Squad clown is Mark Wilson, he drives a tiny jalopy which somehow fits the entire squad in it, but has a tendency to fall apart on arrival, and of course was infamously sent-off against Nottingham Forest the other year when he turned round whilst holding a long plank and inadvertently felled Junior Agogo. His suspension was increased when the physio coming on to treat Agogo found his water bucket full of confetti.

If you could have any one Barnsley FC player for your starting XI, who would it be?
Andy Hammil is an obvious talent, but what Rovers have lacked most this season is a stable back-line, although this is due in part to injuries forcing the management to chop and change personnel regularly. Jason Shackell would have filled this problem area more than competently, and would add the most to our starting line-up of the current Barnsley side

What is your opinion about Barnsley FC as a club, and as a team?
I think I’m pretty opinionless when it comes to Barnsley. I’ve always perceived Rotherham and Scunthorpe as Doncaster’s key local rivals as such Barnsley are simply just there. Nearby. Playing football. Much like a referee, if they don’t draw your focus then that’s probably a good thing.

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