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DF pre-Pools

17 November 2016

Gaffer has decisions to make ahead of homecoming.

Darren Ferguson revealed that he’s already made his decision regarding the selection of striker Liam Mandeville ahead of Saturday’s game against Hartlepool.

The young forward was used as a substitute to maximum impact in last week’s 3-1 comeback win over Exeter City as he scored one and set up two goals at St James Park.

“You hope that he kicks on now, whether it’s as an impact player again or he starts on Saturday,” said the Scot.

“There’s nothing better for a young player than his teammates to say “you got us out of it there” – I think for a young player, that’s a great thing to have. He definitely got that on Saturday and you’d like to think that gives him real confidence.

“I’ve got to make a decision, after his performance, whether I start him. I’ve made my decision and others will wait and see what that is.”

Ferguson was pleased that his side hit back after going without a win in all competitions for four games, something that was blown out of proportion in his opinion.

“I think people wanted to focus on the fact that we hadn’t won for four games too much for my liking but if that’s the way it is then we have to deal with it,” he said.

“It was a fact that we hadn’t won in four games but you can dissect it a little more – or I can and that’s my job – I understand the media, its part of your job. 

“I have to dissect that little bit more and focus on the fact but we’ve done this and we’ve done that. It was an important win on Saturday, there’s no getting away from it but we expect more on the weekend with more control of the ball in areas of the pitch such as the middle where we can get control.”

Rovers enter Saturday’s game against Pools with an unbeaten run that stretches back to March and know that they have only lost one league fixture on home soil to the Victoria Park outfit in the last 32 years.

“We’ve got to try and get the mentality right for our own players and being unbeaten for a while now is good and the more you do it, the more it gets in to other people’s minds,” he said. 

“Hartlepool might not even talk about it – I don’t know – but its certainly a good thing to have, we’re going to need it.

“The most important thing is always the victory because it makes life so much easier when you go through stuff on a Monday morning, there’s a lightened mood and a more positive attitude towards it.”

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