Doncaster Rovers: Ben Whiteman confident he’ll better goal return - in spite of deeper midfield role

Ben Whiteman celebrates his winner at Bradford with Andy Butler.
Ben Whiteman celebrates his winner at Bradford with Andy Butler.

Ben Whiteman is confident he can better his goal return - even if he spends more time playing in a deeper position.

The 21-year-old midfielder, on loan from Sheffield United, got off the mark for Doncaster Rovers by netting the winner against Bradford City in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night.

He also twice went close from distance in Rovers’ League One opener against Gillingham last weekend - despite starting in a midfield holding role.

Ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Blackburn Rovers, in-form Whiteman confidently predicted he can beat the seven he scored on loan for Mansfield in League Two last season, in spite of starting this campaign in a more defensive role.

He said: “I do think I’ll be able to do that, especially with the manager here and the way he likes to play and the licence that I personally have and the team has.

“I think I can get shots away and hopefully a few go in.

“I like it [the position], I’m getting the ball a lot and trying to make things happen.

“Towards the end of the game I try and get a few shots off.

“You need to concentrate at all times, as the whole team does, but because you’re in the centre of the pitch it’s even more important. We don’t really want to get counter-attacked.”

Whiteman and fellow new boys Danny Andrew and Rodney Kongolo have noticeably hit the ground running following their summer moves to the Keepmoat Stadium.

“I think that’s more about the group,” said Whiteman. “They’ve made it so easy to settle in and show what we can do.

“It’s also about the trust that the manager and Strachs has had in us, they’ve given us that licence and allowed us to play with freedom.

“In training the manager is really detailed in his approach on how we’re going to play and I think that showed on Saturday and on Tuesday night.

“Sometimes the opposition don’t know what we’re going to do and I think that’s how we work teams. The way that we play is very hard to play against and I know that first hand from last season.”