Doncaster Rovers: Ben Sheaf on dealing with close marking and sticking by Rovers' philosophy

Ben Sheaf says the close attention afforded to him and Ben Whiteman is a compliment but a challenge he is determined to overcome.

Friday, 6th December 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 6th December 2019, 7:02 am

Opposition teams have shown an increased desire to prevent the two sitting midfielders from hitting their stride, such is their quality on the ball.

And the Arsenal loanee says it has only increased his desire to improve and overcome close marking to hit his stride.

“In the last few games me and Ben have been man-marked a fair bit,” Sheaf said.

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Ben Sheaf

“We’ve not had much time and space to play and dictate.

“I guess you could take that as a compliment but it’s down to us to find other ways to get us playing.

“I’m enjoying that sort of responsibility of trying to get us playing and having the pressure to do that.

“We’ve just got to keep trying to do the right things.”

Rovers have faced increased defensive attention as the season has worn on with opposition teams pressing hard or man marking to stop them from finding their flow with their passing game.

The pattern of the campaign saw teams initially sit off them and allow Rovers to play but this has switched in recent months to an attempt to stop them first and foremost.

Sheaf says they cannot let that approach get the better of them, even when opponents have success in shutting them down.

“It’s clear what our style of play is now,” he said.

“Teams are coming with the gameplan of trying to stop them playing at source and jumping all over us.

“When teams have dropped off we play through them.

“Some teams have had a bit of joy with it but we need to not get disheartened by it, remain confident and believe in our ability that we can do it.

“We need to just keep believing in our philosophy.

“I think we might have lacked that in the last few games but we need to find it somewhere, dig deep for it and bring it again on Saturday.”