The Insider: Former Portsmouth defender Darren Moore making impression with surprisingly good Doncaster start

Liam Hoden, from the Doncaster Free Press, gives the lowdown on Pompey’s next League One opponents Doncaster…

Friday, 4th October 2019, 8:00 pm

It’s actually been a surprisingly good start to the season for Doncaster.

Darren Moore, the former Pompey defender, was appointed manager with only three weeks of the transfer window remaining.

And he had his work cut out as Rovers lost a lot of big players from last season, especially striker John Marquis, who moved to Fratton Park.

Sign up to our Portsmouth FC newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

A number of young players were brought in as part of the rebuild – and they’ve all done well.

It’s actually been surprising how quickly Moore has got them to play how he wants.

The results have been good on the whole, with the only loss to date coming against Blackpool to a stoppage-time goal.

They’ve played the vast majority of top teams as well, and draws have come at both Coventry and Ipswich.

Doncaster Rovers manager Darren Moore Picture: Marie Caley

On the whole it’s been a particularly tough month of September, but Donny have done really well.

It’s been achieved by playing some really good, attacking football and the players’ understanding of Moore’s system has been superb.

Both centre-halves have been real standout performers.

Tom Anderson was a bit-part player last season but has enjoyed a run of games and been absolutely fantastic.

Having lost Andy Butler in the summer and missed out on Paul Downing, he has really stood out.

Former Pompey target Kieran Sadlier has started the season playing up front, which is not his natural position.

Yet he’s scored a few goals and his impressive start to the season has alerted Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy.

The Eire boss was in the stands to watch him against Peterborough – a game that saw him score.

Initially, Sadlier struggled, having come straight in from a full League of Ireland season with Cork City.

But he has performed really well on the back of a break in the summer.

Sadlier struggled to get up to full fitness last season, he looked okay but nowhere near what has been produced under manager Moore.

Midfielder James Coppinger is 39 in February, yet still starts virtually every game.

He’s been unbelievable and is still very, very influential.

Moore was a great appointment given his connection to the club, having been a player earlier in his career.

That was a big part in getting him to come back and make the drop down to League One.

Everyone speaks so highly of him, his preparations are meticulous.

Moore is making a continuing impression, there’s an understanding on the pitch and you can see it’s bearing fruit.