Doncaster Rovers boss delivers honest claim about his squad following Gillingham defeat

Doncaster Rovers boss Gary McSheffrey has accepted that his players may not be completely united in the belief that they can still get out of trouble.

By Paul Goodwin
Tuesday, 15th March 2022, 12:40 pm

McSheffrey made that honest and rather damning admission after his side’s toothless 1-0 defeat to relegation rivals Gillingham at the weekend.

However, the 39-year-old insists it is normal in any dressing room environment for different players to have different outlooks.

Rovers are currently four points from safety in League One with eight games left to play.

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Doncaster Rovers' players pictured before Saturday's defeat to Gillingham. Picture: Howard Roe/AHPIX LTD

They have lost 25 games out of 38 this season – the most defeats in the division.

Rovers have also shipped 73 goals – the most in England’s top four divisions.

Fragile confidence levels will not have been helped by the 4-0 defeat at Cheltenham Town and limp display against the Gills – just when it seemed Rovers might have turned a corner with the win over Accrington Stanley and comeback draw at AFC Wimbledon.

McSheffrey was asked by the Free Press whether he believed that his players believed they could still claw their way to safety.

"I believe some of them do,” he replied. "I believe that some of them think that.

"Maybe not everybody thinks that but I can’t really get in their head and sense how they think.

"There’s definitely some strong characters that think we can get out of it.

"Maybe there’s a few that don’t but you’re always you’re going to get that in every dressing room.”

Asked how he intends to pick his players up following their latest setback, McSheffrey said: "You have to take the positives out of it. Obviously the result is not positive but it's the most we've played in a game for a few weeks.

"You have to be upbeat on the training pitch. Gillingham have gained an advantage with this result but they're the only team that have this weekend. Everyone else lost so it's still the exact same number of points required to get out of it.

"We have to just keep fighting and keep believing while the opportunity is there and while it is mathematically possible.

“We need more desire and hunger to hurt opposition teams and make defenders work more. They didn’t play badly, especially in the second half.

“We need to dust ourselves down, recover well and get our heads up. There’s eight games left and there’s no point moping.

“We need players to react in the right way with positive thinking.”

Rovers must again hope for favours elsewhere tonight on another busy night of League One action.

Four of the bottom six teams are in action, including Rovers’ next opponents Fleetwood Town who are currently four points better off and sit two places above the drop zone.

Tonight: Charlton Athletic v Gillingham, Crewe v Wigan, Shrewsbury Town v Morecambe, Wycombe v Fleetwood.