Doncaster Rovers: Top six has to be our target, says Jamie McCombe

Jamie McCombe. Picture: Andrew Roe
Jamie McCombe. Picture: Andrew Roe
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Giant defender Jamie McCombe is another senior professional in the Doncaster Rovers dressing room with lofty ambitions.

Richie Wellens and James Coppinger have both recently stated their desire for Rovers to be challenging for promotion from League One this term - despite Paul Dickov’s attempts to downplay expectations.

And McCombe, 31, subscribes to a similar viewpoint to his teammates - hinting at an underlying belief among Rovers’ players that they have the ability to finish significantly higher than their current position of 14th.

“I don’t want to put too much pressure on but you go into every season thinking you can get promoted,” said McCombe.

“For me the minimum would be sixth and getting in the play-offs.

“You’ve got to have aspirations to do that.

“We’ve had some difficulties off the pitch with takeovers and bits and bobs.

“We don’t have a big budget in this league and the [financial] fair play rules sometimes aren’t that fair when you’re coming up against teams who get 14 thousand through the gate.

“But we’re not one of the worst in that sense, and I think we’ve got a good squad.

“It’s just clicking it all together. We’ve got a lot of new people.

“Considering the setback we had last season, we’ve not really shown that.”

McCombe, himself getting reacquainted with life in the first team after a long term absence, says Rovers are still adjusting to life back in League One.

“Coming down from the Championship, we’re a bit of a scalp,” he said.

“You look at teams like Crawley coming here and they play out a 0-0, keeping the ball in the corner - they’re happy with the draw.

“So, you know that teams are set up to not lose against us.

“It’s difficult to overcome that sometimes but if you’re going to achieve anything, we have to work on ways to do that.”

Meanwhile, McCombe’s current central defensive partner Luke McCullough could feature again for Northern Ireland tonight as they look to continue their best start to a qualifying campaign since 1968.

Northern Ireland are in Greece hoping to build on two wins out of two which have sent them to the top of their Euro qualifying group.

n Doncaster Rovers Under 18s’ unbeaten start in the Football League Youth Alliance came to an end on Saturday when they were beaten 2-1 at home to Bradford City.

Liam Mandeville equalised for Rovers but the Bantams won it with a controversial late penalty.

Meanwhile, Rovers have been drawn at home to Morecambe in the first round of the FA Youth Cup.