Doncaster Rovers: This is the big one, says Richie Wellens

Rovers' win in the 2008 League One play-off final was the last time they beat Leeds.
Rovers' win in the 2008 League One play-off final was the last time they beat Leeds.

Richie Wellens has admitted that Leeds United are the local team that Rovers really love to beat.

Wellens - part of the Doncaster side that famously beat Leeds at Wembley in the 2008 League play-off final - says the Rovers players regard this weekend’s fixture as the biggest one in their calendar.

He said: “I know we’ve got a few other clubs in and around us but Leeds is probably the biggest city in Yorkshire.

“We’d expect Leeds to bring four or five thousand so the atmosphere will be good.

“The intensity of the game should be good too, there’ll be a few tackles flying in.

“This is our biggest game.”

Doncaster’s famous 1-0 win against Leeds, courtesy of James Hayter’s header, was the club’s last triumph over Leeds.

One draw, five United wins and a high profile tunnel bust-up have followed.

Most recently United secured a comfortable 3-1 win at the Keepmoat in the Capital One Cup back in August.

Billy Paynter set up a potentially dramatic finish as he scored against his former club with his first touch moments after bursting off the bench.

However, goals from Scott Wootton, Matt Smith and a Ross McCormack penalty saw Doncaster crash out of the cup.

Wellens was this week happy to reminisce about that famous Wembley win against the Whites.

“Even though Leeds are a big club with a big fan base, we knew if we were on our game we’d beat them,” he said.

“We’d played them a couple of times before that season and got the better of them.

“It doesn’t matter how many fans you bring. You’ve got to play the team on the pitch.

“We knew we were a better team than them.”

Eighth-placed United have lost just once in their last six, whereas Doncaster will be keen to bounce back from their 3-0 reverse at Bolton.

Verdict: Draw