Doncaster Rovers: They are starting to look like 'my team' says Grant McCann

Grant McCann believes Doncaster Rovers are starting to resemble 'his team' less than a month into the job.

Sunday, 22nd July 2018, 1:05 pm
Grant McCann at work with his squad at Cantley Park

As well as intensive fitness training, the Rovers squad have been plied with plenty of information and tactical work at Cantley Park since McCann's arrival late last month.

And he feels it is increasingly paying dividends, having seen a noticeable rise in intensity both on the training ground and in the friendly games.

Rovers were particularly impressive in Friday night's clash with a full strength Birmingham City side, delivering much of the style of football McCann has been keen to foster.

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"What I've seen over the last week is a rise in intensity, in tempo, in players understanding what me and Cliff [Byrne, assistant boss] are delivering to them more," McCann said.

"I've started to look at them and think I'm starting to mould them into my team.

"I've seen a change in intensity and the way we play.

"I've seen a change in their pressing and attitude and how they're getting to know the shape, the way I work and the system.

"I think you saw it from this group against Birmingham.

"To play against Birmingham's first team and their strongest squad, the game was 50-50.

"There was nothing really in the game and I was impressed with them.

"They're getting the messages, they're all starting to understand and they're doing it with smiles on their faces so it's really pleasing."

McCann has met with each player individually to inform them of personal targets for the coming season as well as his aspirations for the team as a whole.

Though this is primarily statistical goals, McCann has suggested to some of his players that they should be aspiring to earn a place in the League One team of the season if Rovers are going to achieve their ultimate goal of a top six finish in the coming campaign.

McCann said: "They're just my targets and aims and what I expect us to do this season.

"I'll keep them in house but I always set the bar high.

"The players were well aware of that.

"There's a lot of different targets, points, clean sheets, leading goalscorer, team of the season.

"There's different things I think you need to make you successful.

"The boys know that and they understand."

Rovers will continue their preparations for August 4's season opener on Tuesday night when they visit Grimsby Town.

Those players that did not feature against Birmingham - including new signings Mallik Wilks and Ali Crawford - will play at Blundell Park while Tommy Rowe will continue his recovery from injury with a 60 minute spell in the match.

The team that faced Birmingham will play again on Wednesday at United Counties League side Deeping Rangers.