KEVIN O’Connor is planning some redemption on Saturday after watching helplessly as Brentford blew their last promotion winner-takes-all season’s finale.
It was 11 years ago that Steve Coppell’s Bees side went into the final day of the season at home to Reading needing to win to go up automatically, while their visitors only needed a draw to take second spot behind Brighton.
Martin Rowlands gave Brentford the lead, but just when the Griffin Park faithful dared to start dreaming, their hopes were shattered by a late Jamie Cureton equaliser.
O’Connor was a teenager sitting on the bench that day, but more than a decade on, will see a touch of deja vu for the Brentford veteran.
Visitors Doncaster only need a point to join Bournemouth in the Championship, while Brentford need to win to snatch the second promotion place.
O’Connor said: “I was so nervous in the build up to that game. I was only 19 and sat on the bench.
“I learned from that experience and hope to pass some of it onto the boys, but to be fair they are a smart bunch and know what this game means already. I can’t say how we will approach the game, but we’ve just got to keep our cool and have that mindset all week.
“We also had the last-day experience in the second season under Martin Allen (2005-06), when we had to go there and win and hope other results went our way, which they didn’t, and we drew. But this time it is in our own hands.
“If it doesn’t happen on Saturday then it will happen soon for us. We’ve been so close so many times, it’s got to be our time soon.”
With Tony Craig suspended and O’Connor playing as emergency centre-back last weekend, it will be he who has to stop any potential Cureton-style heartbreak for Brentford at the weekend.
He added: “I’m sure there will be a few scenarios playing around in my head this week, but it’s a great chance for me to help redeem that defeat.”