Doncaster Rovers are not in a relegation battle, insists Gavin Baldwin

Gavin BaldwinGavin Baldwin
Gavin Baldwin
Chief executive Gavin Baldwin has dismissed the notion that Doncaster Rovers’ season has purely descended into a relegation battle after the club’s fraught opening to the 2021-22 campaign.

Rovers prop up the League One table with just one point from a possible 18 so far this term and having won just twice in their past 22 league matches during a wretched 2021 thus far.

They welcome Morecambe on Saturday, seeking their first home league victory since early March.

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But with key players due to return to the side in the likes of Tom Anderson, Fejiri Okenabirhie and Jon Taylor, Baldwin believes it is too early to talk of the club being pitted into a survival battle for the whole of 2021-22.

Speaking to the BBC, Baldwin, who has sanctioned the free agent signings of Joe Dodoo and Joseph Olowu to bolster the club’s numbers after the closure of the transfer window said: “As regards a relegation battle, we are nowhere near it at this stage.

“Everything that Richie (Wellens) is doing, you can see is laying the foundations and you can see there’s a plan and at training, there’s a purpose.

“In the league, you see in every game that there is incremental improvement. Against Rotherham, it was poor and hard work and it was undeniably a setback.

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“Against Wigan, it was not pretty, but there was a game plan and we went ahead and you could see the plan.

“Richie is clear that he has now got his squad and it is a good League One squad and we now need to start getting results. In the games to date, the results have not been good enough, but we could use the excuses of injuries, Covid and pre-season, but that is almost boring now.

“We have had the conversation on Monday and the line is drawn and it is about the future now. We have got our players now and most of them are back.

“We have total respect for Richie. The training sessions are really good to watch and the players love them and he is absolutely adamant we have got a decent squad and should now start to pick up results.”

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Wellens may have endured a tough start to his career in the Rovers dug-out, but the board retain a strong belief that he is the person to take the club forward in the short, medium and long-term.

Baldwin continued: “From our point of view, we have a track record as a board of supporting the manager.

“In the Darren Ferguson era when we got relegated to League Two, we knew Darren had a plan and we believed in what he was trying to do.

“From a board’s point of view, it is more about what Richie is trying to achieve and how he is trying to achieve it that dictated the board opinion of Richie Wellens as the manager.

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“Richie, in my opinion, with his dealings in the transfer window and way he has supported our conversations and the fact that the players love his training sessions - there’s a plan every week, for instance - he has given us every chance of doing well.

“We understand results may go against us, that is sport. But ultimately, keeping the right things, it will come right.

“As long as Richie is doing the right things and there is a plan, then he will get the board’s full support.”