Richie Wellens has dished out a parting shot in the direction of Sheffield United, saying the club are “under-achieving” this season.
The Blades are nursing a three-game winless cup and league run following Wednesday’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy exit at League One counterparts Walsall.
Nigel Clough’s men will be heading to the Keepmoat Stadium for this Saturday’s South Yorkshire clash eager to push on towards the play-offs as well as aim to move on from their last league showing - a 1-0 defeat to fellow derby rivals Barnsley.
And Wellens pulled no punches when he was asked if the red half of Sheffield had been below par this term.
“For the size of the club, they’ve got a good manager - they should be doing better than what they’re doing,” said the Rovers midfielder.
“They should probably be up there with Bristol City. They’ve got the biggest budget in the league.
“I would imagine - if you asked their players - they’re probably a little bit disappointed as to where they are [in the league].”
The 34-year-old went on: “They’re easily a Championship/Premier League club and they’re in mid-table in League One so they’re definitely under-achieving.”
Doncaster’s talisman knows just how important it is for Rovers to get on a good run if they were to challenge for a play-off place.
And he was also in agreement with fellow midfielder James Coppinger who said the club’s next ten games could effectively shape their season.
“Saturday is a big start because we’re eight points behind Sheff United. If they win and we go 11 points behind, it’s going to be tough to catch them,” said Wellens.
“If we can win and close it down, we’ve got a game in hand over them so it shortens everything up.”
He added: “It should be a good game, I’m looking forward to it.”