Doncaster Rovers boss Gary McSheffrey on Pontus Dahlberg's future and Louis Jones' injury

Gary McSheffrey would see it as wasteful for Doncaster Rovers to use up a loan berth on a goalkeeper that was not starting matches.

Thursday, 13th January 2022, 4:56 pm
Pontus Dahlberg

Rovers currently have Pontus Dahlberg on loan from Watford, with a decision due on the Swedish international’s immediate future.

McSheffrey has informed the 22-year-old that he sees Louis Jones as his number one keeper.

And he has hinted that he expects Dahlberg to be sent elsewhere for the remainder of the campaign.

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When discussing how he would seek to replace Dahlberg in his squad and provide back-up to Jones, McSheffrey admitted he is unlikely to sign another goalkeeper on loan.

“I think we need to use the loan market quite well and shrewdly and if we do that, then ideally the fifth loanee on a matchday needs to be an outfield player if the goalkeeper is not starting,” he said.

“We’ve got Ben Bottomley out on loan at Tadcaster and there is a callback option on that. Short term, Ben would sit on the bench as back-up.

“And then we know we can use the emergency loan market if Louis was to get an injury.

“There are risks but if we got a good fifth loan that was an outfield player who could score a goal or two, then it’s risk and reward.

“It’s about weighing up those options.

“Ultimately the Pontus one is out of our hands because he’s played enough games for Watford to call him back. So we’ll wait and see.”

The situation surrounding Dahlberg has been complicated by Louis Jones picking up a hamstring injury which saw him not risked for last weekend’s defeat to Fleetwood Town.

Dahlberg played in the game and is currently on standby for Saturday’s clash with Wigan Athletic.

McSheffrey said: “We’re just being cautious with Louis.

“He’s been training all week but we’re trying to avoid overloading him too much because once the hamstring goes, it’s dodgy.

“He’s reporting that it’s feeling okay but we haven’t overtrained him and he’s only done light kicking.

“We’ll just see how he is come the weekend.”

McSheffrey believes Dahlberg should be playing matches for the remainder of the season and understands if Watford decide that too.

“Pontus is good enough to be a number one in this league and I think there’s one or two clubs that would like to take him,” he said.

“We’ll just see where it’s at in the next couple of days.

“I would like to keep him because otherwise it would leave us short.

“I feel the kid deserves to play football and while I’m saying Louis is my number one when fit, then he’ll want to go and play football.“But we’re managing an injury with Louis so it’s a difficult situation.

“I want to keep Pontus in the building and he’ll probably play games in the short term.

“But in the long term he doesn’t want to miss an opportunity if a shirt becomes available at another club and they want him. Pontus and Watford would have to act quickly.

“We are aware of it, prepared for it and if it happens, it happens.

“If it doesn’t, then great. But if it does we shake his hand because he’s a great kid and he deserves to be a number one somewhere.”

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