Doncaster Rovers boss admits attracting experienced players is proving difficult as club misses out on John Joe O'Toole

Gary McSheffrey has admitted that Doncaster Rovers are struggling to attract experienced signings that would be ready to hit the ground running in the relegation fight.

Thursday, 20th January 2022, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 20th January 2022, 9:03 am
Gary McSheffrey
Gary McSheffrey

The Free Press understands that Rovers were this week expecting to complete the signing of veteran midfielder John Joe O’Toole only for him to commit his future to Mansfield Town on a two-and-a-half year contract.

McSheffrey would not confirm whether an agreement had previously been reached with the 33-year-old but said re-examining the market had not unearthed players of his calibre that had been playing regular football in recent months.

“We have a couple but none that are really ready to hit the ground running with the 14 or so games he has played since he’s been there,” he told the Free Press.

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Rovers brought in Josh Martin on loan from Norwich City on Monday

“There are a couple but we have to make a decision over whether they will make a solid impact from the get go or will they be a good one for the club longer term.

“It’s weighing up the best options.”

On O’Toole, McSheffrey said: “I’m not too sure of the details of everything.

“We were interested and I saw on Mansfield’s Twitter on Monday that he’d signed a new deal for them.

“It’s dead in the water now and we move on.”

Rovers yesterday completed the signing of young centre half Ollie Younger from Sunderland on an 18-month deal, with McSheffrey saying he felt the signing was similar to that of Joe Wright in 2016 as a player with huge potential to grow at the club.

Younger followed in winger Josh Martin who joined on loan from Norwich City on Monday while striker Kieran Agard arrived on a permanent deal last week.

The Rovers boss is keen to add to his attacking ranks before the end of the transfer window but says that will likely come in the form of loans, with more experienced players hard to come by.

“We’ve highlighted one or two attackers that we’d like and it’s having a conversation with their clubs to see if they will let them out on loan,” McSheffrey said.“We’re going to try to do a couple of permanents as well.

“But in attacking roles I don’t think the permanents are out there - and we’ve done well to get Kieran Agard.

“I don’t think there’s too many options out there in attacking areas so that’s one where we’re going to look at freshening it up with really good youngsters that have got legs and want to score goals.”

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