Doncaster Rovers: Opinion: Trust that the right work is being done

The message on the back of last week’s Free Press urged Rovers supporters not to panic about the club’s summer transfer business.

By Liam Hoden
Thursday, 20 June, 2019, 13:41
Grant McCann

After all, given the weather over the last few days, we can hardly call this summer.

But the message appears to have fallen on deaf ears.

It seems to have become a fact of footballing life that any period of quiet time at a club during the closed season will be met with cries and moans driven by panic that not enough is being done.

The social media era in which we live is the primary force behind this as supporters stir each other up, all the while pointing out that the team a few miles down the road already having brought a couple of players in.

When it comes to Rovers, this year has been the worst for it yet.

The big issue with that reactionary approach is it only takes account of things on a superficial level.

You watch players depart and because replacements do not immediately arrive, there is a reason to panic.

There is no doubt that there is plenty of work to be done at Rovers this summer. Players that may have remained have not, and there is a decent amount needing to be added to hit Grant McCann’s 18 seniors quota.

But don’t assume that hard work is not being done behind the scenes, even right now as you read this. Does anyone really expect Rovers to start next season with a dozen or so senior players?

By the end of this week McCann could easily have the majority of his business done. And that is because the hard yards have been put in.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

As he has explained on these pages in the past few weeks, he constantly works on an evolving list of three or four players for each position on the pitch that he could potentially sign in the future.

Since his return from a ten day holiday where his phone never stopped ringing, he has spent plenty of time on the road meeting players on his list and determining how keen he is to press for deals for certain individuals.

This week should hopefully see the fruits of that labour, with a string of players signing on the dotted line.

Playing a major role in the departure of players that had been offered new deals has been McCann’s stubborn valuation of each man.

With each he set out with a maximum offer in mind that he would be willing to hit. If players wanted more, or could get more elsewhere, he was happy to let them go and would always back himself to find a replacement at least as good.

The point is, Rovers have been in much more control of their situation this summer than it may appear on the superficial level.

If there is anything to be justifably concerned about regarding Rovers heading into next season, it is how well a new-look squad can be gelled together to make sure they are ready for the start of the campaign.

Particularly so when it comes to the two new full backs who will have to be brought up to speed of how to play in a position so pivotal to McCann's philosophy.

But just like decent recruitment, McCann did it last year and his achievements then mean he deserves the chance to do it again this summer.

So just trust that the right sort of work is being done – and don’t panic.