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Monday, May 23, 2011

QPR Report Interview: The Doncaster Rovers Perspective

March 18, 2011


This week, Glen Wilson of Viva Rovers http://vivarovers.wordpress.com has very kindly agreed to provide a look at Doncaster Rovers on and off the field - along with views of QPR and Neil Warnock. Many thanks to Glen.


How long have you supported Doncasterr? And how long have you been involved with your Website? How did you get to your site?

Growing up in Doncaster I've always looked out for Rovers results, but I didn't start going regularly until I was 15;that was the back end of the 97/98 season and things were much different. I started doing the site in June/July 2006 when the Rivals Network were looking for a supporter to do the Rovers section of that site. I renamed it Viva Rovers and went from there. In July 2009 Sky unceremoniously shutdown the Rivals network so I resurrected Viva Rovers as an independent site within a week or so and it's thankfully still living on now.

How do you get on with the other Doncaster fan sites: Are there any serious inter-board conflicts (as there certainly are between certain QPR boards!)?

There are not that many other Rovers' fan-sites to be honest and of those exist the support is generally mutual I think. I'm not aware of inter-board conflicts, but then I generally avoid messageboards where possible.

Do Doncaster have one (or two) special local (or further away) rivals? Is it an equal two-way rivalry?

With the Yorkshire and Humber region peppered with football clubs we're somewhat spoiled for choice when it comes to folk to hate. The traditional main rivals are Rotherham and Scun.thorpe and perhaps to a lesser extent Barnsley. We've had fleeting periods of mutual dislike with Hull and the Sheffield clubs, and whilst a lot of the newer supporters attain to a rivalry with Leeds there's really nowt in that compared to Scunny and Rotherham, for which the rivalry is very much mutual, particularly for the Millers.

Are you happy with your manager and team and how things are? (To be honest, I'd think you be pretty over the moon!)

Sean O'Driscoll is quite simply the best Rovers manager in my lifetime and has produced the best football I've ever had the joy of watching. I could not be happier.

What do you think of the current - and previous- Owners? WHY are they involved? WHO ARE THEY?! What do you expect? Could they realistically have done more to boost your chances?

John Ryan, a Doncaster born, Rovers supporting, self-made millionaire is the man at the helm. He took over in 1998-99 when the club was at its lowest ebb and has steared the club to where it is now. He cannot have done more than that and deserves nothing but praise. At times in the past he has been a little quick to open his mouth and court publicity, which could rub people up the wrong way, but thankfully he's reined himself in on that side in recent years. As for the previous owner, the less said the better really, given that his involvement in the club culminated in it's near death and his appearance in court charged with conspiracy to commit arson on the Main Stand.

How do you think Doncaster treats its fans? Appreciates them? Listens to them? Screws them?

On the whole I think the club does OK in terms of fan relations, especially as the man at the top is one, but it remains a long way behind other sides at this level. This is the result of coming a long way up the divisions in a short space of time. Slowly the club is starting to listen to the suggestions of supporters, but in many areas they are often hampered by some employees unwillingness to embrace fresh approaches.

Who are you Dangermen/Most valued/most overrated/most underrated players?

I don't think Rovers have any over-rated players, but the focus placed on Billy Sharp perhaps sometimes does a disservice to the quality of those around him. Sharp, when fit is an obvious dangerman as his goal tally reflects, whist Jamie Coppinger and James Hayter are enjoying their best seasons for some time. The centre-midfield pairing of John Oster and Brian Stock has been underrated by Welsh national team managers. When the two are fit and on form they're as good and as creative a central midfield duo you'll find in the division.

Prediction for season promotion/relegation places - And how would that compare with pre-season prediction? In your heart of hearts, what were you expecting pre-season for Doncaster?

I said at the start of the season mid-table and we seem to be stumbling toward that finish point. Given that we look likely to achieve this having had a horrendous three months of injury problems speaks volumes of the talent and resolve we have, both on the pitch and in the dugout. With consistent fitness and a steady back four this team would've been capable of challenging for a play-off place.

What is your view and the general Doncaster view of QPR (If we even feature in your consciousness)?

I don't know if Doncaster has a general view of QPR, personally I've always been fairly fond of the club. At University I dated a girl who lived on Loftus Road for a year, and a later girlfriend had a brother in law who was an avid Rs fan so they've often been in my conscience. Sadly though any affection for Rangers as a club has been thrown out the window with their appointment of Neil Warnock.

There are few people, if any, in football that I despise more than Warnock. He is a first class pillock. Happy to take the credit, never one to suffer the criticism. He thrives on the seige mentality, so much so that he often constructs his own when none actually exists. At Palace he often reminded us that "All I know is, I've got a good honest bunch of lads here..." yet the team he put out was far from honest, and the Palace side that played Rovers at the end of the 2008-09 season is the most thuggish I've seen at the Keepmoat. His attitude toward match officials make him a blight on the game.

What are your past Encounter Memories - Best Memory/Worst Memory of Past QPR- Encounters? Who is your favourite QPR Player over the years? (And your least favourite)?

I've only actually ever witnessed one Rovers v QPR fixture, as the cost of attending a game at Loftus Road is sadly beyond me, so best and worst memories is hardly worth attempting, though Damion Stewart's own goal was a bit special. I began watching football at the back end of QPR's last spell in the top flight so favourite QPR players are probably Roy Wegerle for that solo goal and of course Rufus Brevett for the obvious connection angle.

Are you looking forward to playing QPR?

I am looking forward to seeing QPR because they are the league leaders and its always interesting to see what sets a team apart from the rest of the division, particularly one as tight as the Championship.


Heart says win, head says defeat. Though we have caught you unawares before I can't see it happening again. 1-2.

Where, realistically, do you think Doncaster will be in five years time?

Hopefully, still in the Championship. If we are then we'll have equalled Rovers previous longest spell at this level and I couldn't ask for more than that.

Do you have any advice for QPR fans, in the event that we do go up? (Spend more/spend less; keep the manager; change the manager, etc)

I'd advise you to change the manager, but then I'd advise any team of that if Warnock was their boss. General advice to QPR though would be don't live beyond your means, bring back a black and red hooped away kit and don't cock about with your home hoops.

Profound thanks to Glen Wilson of Viva Rovers http://vivarovers.wordpress.com and very best of luck for the season (after, of course, Saturday!)

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