Doncaster Rovers boss defends Liam Ravenhill after leg-breaking tackle on Bradford City’s Emmanuel Osadebe

Doncaster Rovers’ Liam Ravenhill needs an arm around the shoulder following his horror tackle on Bradford City's Emmanuel Osadebe.

Monday, 1st August 2022, 6:00 am

That's the view of his boss Gary McSheffrey, who wants the 19-year-old midfielder to be able to move on from the traumatic incident, which broke Osadebe’s leg in two places.

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Sections of the home crowd at the University of Bradford Stadium reacted furiously to the sixth-minute challenge and subsequent yellow card shown to Ravenhill by referee Robert Madden.

Bradford's Emmuanuel Osadebe after the challenge from Doncaster's Liam Ravenhill.

The youngster was substituted shortly afterwards, with Jack Degruchy taking his place.

McSheffrey, who managed Ravenhill in Doncaster’s youth team and rates him highly, said: “He’s tacked like that throughout his whole academy career, he’s strong in the tackle.

"It’s a derby and his dad’s played for the club and was a similar type of midfielder, and what do you say when you play a derby?

"Win your first headers, don’t pull out of any tackles and Ravs went in and took the ball. We’re hugely disappointed with the outcome.

"As his manager, he’s a young lad, I have to protect him. We brought him off to protect him. We’ll try and not talk about that anymore and let him get on with his career.

Ravenhill senior, Ricky, had spells with both Rovers and Bradford City and was part of the Bantams side promoted from League Two in the 2012/13 season.

Despite the elation of the team holding on for a 0-0 draw after being reduced to ten men in the first half, Ravenhill cut a quiet figure in Rovers’ dressing room at full-time, his boss said.

McSheffrey added: “It’s important we just get around him and don’t let this ruin (things). He’s had a good pre-season, hence why we put him in today.

"We rally round him and try to make sure we keep his career going in the right way.”

Bradford City confirmed debutant Osadebe underwent surgery yesterday on a double leg fracture after scans revealed breaks to both the tibia and fibula bones in his right leg.

He joined the club from Walsall this summer.

Ravenhill had been a late stand-in for Tommy Rowe, who suffered a neck spasm in training on Friday, and made just his fourth league appearance.

It is hoped Rowe could be fit for Saturday’s visit of Sutton United.