'The Arsenal of League 1' was a well deserved compliment paid to Doncaster Rovers as they stylishly passed and weaved their way to promotion via the Play-Offs last season.

But after making a bright start to their first season at Coca-Cola Championship level for 50 years, Rovers have come unstuck despite playing the same brand of attractive football.

And captain Brian Stock, whose side lies bottom of the table with a third of the campaign gone, admits: "Passing teams can sometimes be their own worst enemy.

"Long-ball teams who launch it up to big strikers perhaps make fewer mistakes in percentage terms because they make fewer passes.

"When you're passing through players as we do you're going to give the ball away occasionally, and the higher you play the more you get punished.

"That's what's been happening to us, but it's been so frustrating when we've dominated games but then come out of them with nothing."

Rovers have consistently out-passed and out-manoeuvred opponents but, just as consistently, have failed to produce the results that their play has warranted.

It's a conundrum that has had Donny-watchers scratching their heads as Stock and Co slid to the foot of the table in a nine-match winless run that brought just two points.

"The table doesn't lie," admits Stock ruefully. "We're down there for a reason, and the reason is the lack of goals scored.

"Our build-up play has been good and apart from in a couple of games we've looked like a decent Championship team.

"But we've got to start matching the quality of our play with some quality finishing if we are going to get ourselves away from the wrong end of the table."

Rovers need goals to put together a much-needed run of positive results, and fans would love to see them make a start in their local derby at Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.

Three points could begin closing the gap between Donny and the teams in the safety places, whereas another defeat could make their survival task even harder.

They are currently six points behind those safety positions and Stock says: "It's going to be a big ask to stay up, but we can definitely do it.

"We won't abandon our footballing principles, though. We'll maybe tweak one or two things, but we'll stick to the style of play that's made us a Championship team.

"If we can beat Wednesday on Saturday it will be great for the morale of everyone connected with the club as well as the points, and we'll certainly be going all out to win.

"We'll create chances, I'm sure of that, and if we can turn one or two of them into goals we could end up with a win that could turn our season around."

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