FORMER fans’ favourite Richie Wellens will pose one of the biggest threats to Doncaster Rovers in tomorrow’s home game against Leicester City.
The Foxes splashed out a seven-figure fee to sign the classy midfielder prior to the 2009-10 season and the 31 year-old has proved value for money.
City’s Player of the Year last season, Wellens will captain the side in the absence of another former Rovers’ star Matt Mills.
The centre-back, who cost City £4.5m when signing from Reading in the summer, misses the game due to suspension.
“Richie’s a very good footballer and he was a very influential player at this club when he was here,” said Rovers’ director of football Mickey Walker. “He always asks about Donny when I speak to him and he’s one of the nicest guys in the football world and I’m sure he’ll get a warm reception from the fans.
“But come tomorrow he’ll be looking to try and help Leicester beat us and we’ll be looking to beat Leicester. Hopefully I’ll be a having a glass of red wine after the match celebrating a win for the Reds.
“We beat Southampton at home in our last game and they were top of the league, so why not? Any team is beatable at home in this league.”
Tomorrow’s game is the first of four before the third round of the FA Cup.
“What I’d like to see happen is that we go unbeaten in those four games and win at least two of them,” said Walker. “The festive programme, as is the case with Easter, is traditionally so important because games generally come thick and fast.
“I think the Leicester game is going to be like the Southampton game in that we’ve got to play well to win, but we’ve got the quality to beat them.
“They’ve spent a lot of money but I honestly believe that our players are worth more than them. They haven’t got a former African Player of the Year in their squad, as we have in El-Hadji Diouf.
“We’ve now started to kick-on again now and you can see the results of the hard work that Dean and his staff are putting in and it’s getting the players to play. To get the players who have been here for quite a few, and the new players who have recently come in, to gell together as a team in such a short period is a very difficult skill.
“Dean was a world-class player and his enthusiasm and his work-rate is rubbing off on the players. The players are also starting to understand what Dean wants and how he wants them to play.”