Doncaster Rovers boss expects similar test from Gillingham to last opponents but warns his side must be better on the ball
They may have strongly contrasting fortunes at the moment but Richie Wellens believes tonight’s opponents Gillingham will provide a similar sort of test for Doncaster Rovers as high-flying Wycombe Wanderers did at the weekend.
Steve Evans’ Gills are a physical and direct outfit, providing a similar threat to Wycombe, who earned a 2-0 triumph at the Keepmoat on Saturday courtesy of two headed goals.
Wellens does not want his side to compete physically with sides who are adept at that side of the game but has instead urged his players to be braver in possession.
“I want us to be better on the ball,” he said.“They are going to play their way. You cannot get sucked into playing the same way as them. If you do, you’ll be deep, they’ll end up picking up the second balls and repeatedly putting the ball into your box.
“We need to be brave and pass the ball. We need to get phases of possession so you’re banking them in and when they clear it you can isolate their centre forward to then get repeat attacks.
“We need to be a bit braver and better on the ball.”
Having been disappointed with the manner in which Rovers failed to defend the crosses that led to Wycombe’s goals at the weekend, Wellens says his players must be switched onto the task better at the Priestfield Stadium.
“I don’t think they’re too dissimilar to Wycombe,” he said.
“They won’t play three at the back like Wycombe but they’ve got an attack that is a physical threat, they’ve got good energy in midfield and everyone knows what they’re about.
“If you don’t win the first ball, you most definitely have to win the second ball.
“Defensively, you need to be on it.
“I think we can have more possession than them and we need to be good in the transition so we don’t allow easy balls up to their striker or down the channels where we give cheap throw-ins away and allow them to throw the ball into the box.
“They have got their threats.“We’re a growing team though and we are getting better.”
Like Rovers, Gillingham have won just twice in the league so far this season. They have lost their last three.