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Ferguson pre-Cambridge

4 December 2015

Gaffer hopes Rovers can replicate recent run of form, starting with Sunday's cup tie.

Darren Ferguson was not taking Cambridge United lightly ahead of a FA Cup second round clash at Abbey Stadium on Sunday.

The Scot is all too aware of the threat that the League 2 side pose, having taken Manchester United to a third round replay last term.

“It’s a tough game. They’ve had some good results and they’ve got a new manager (Shaun Derry),” said Ferguson.

“I know him well, he’s a good guy and he’ll have them at it.

“You look at managers and how they were as players and he had a great attitude, a winning attitude, a good mentality and they’ve played Notts County lately and won 3-1, there’s no question it’s a tough game.”

Ferguson is boosted by the return of several senior players who are returning from respective injuries. Defenders Luke McCullough, Mitchell Lund and Gary MacKenzie will push for places in the absence of the injured Felipe Mattioni.

“Things are looking better on the injury front. McCullough was on the bench on Saturday, came on and did fine second half after adjusting to the pace of the game and grew in to it and got better as it went on,” said Ferguson.

“Mitchell Lund is available for Sunday, MacKenzie was back on the bench, and (Paul) Keegan will be available.

“Curtis Main and Richard Chaplow will train next week and we’re getting there which is important because that week over Christmas is the one where there is a quick turnaround of games where you’ll have injuries and suspensions and you need to have your squad ready and players are coming back rather than the other way round.”

A major factor in Rovers’ recent run of four wins from their last six games has been the inclusion of Everton loanee Conor Grant who extended his loan spell at Keepmoat Stadium until the New Year, and Ferguson wants a repeat of November’s form, if possible.

“We’re delighted; he’s done well since he’s come in,” Ferguson said of the 20 year old midfielder.

“He’s a good player – we knew that when we brought him in – he’s settled quickly and done really well.

“Certain clubs you go to, you know that the players are grounded and brought up right – Everton are one of those – I know a lot of people at the club and they’re good people so you know what you’re going to get. They’re grounded and want to work hard, they’ve got ability and Conor clearly has that.

“A good December would set us up for the second half of the season. If we have a December like we’ve had a November, you’d like to think that you can create a bigger gap below you and then not such a big gap when you’re looking up and that’s hopefully what we can do.”

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