Doncaster Rovers boss Grant McCann fires warning to squad ahead of Mansfield Town test

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Doncaster Rovers boss Grant McCann has warned his players anyone not sticking to the tactical plan will simply not play.

McCann has made clear his demands for a ‘no-fear’ approach from his players, regardless of their opposition.

Rovers lost 1-0 to Stockport County on Saturday, a result McCann blamed on his side deviating from their plan to press their opponents aggressively out of possession.

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That worked for 83 minutes until they sat off and retreated deeper into their own half, allowing the ball to be crossed for Tanto Olaofe to head home unmarked.

Doncaster Rovers boss Grant McCann.Doncaster Rovers boss Grant McCann.
Doncaster Rovers boss Grant McCann.

McCann put the team’s failure to carry out his instructions for 90 minutes down to their mentality, rather than fitness levels.

He told The Free Press: “For 80-odd minutes I thought we were really in control.

"For the last ten of 15 minutes of the game we just didn’t get to the ball, we sat off them.

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"We made changes, put some fresh legs on, and we were still not doing it. That’s something we need to address.”

Doncaster introduced George Broadbent, Louie Marsh and Tyler Roberts from the bench late on but all three failed to make an impact, albeit with limited time.

McCann, who had just 19 players available at Edgeley Park, said: “When players who are injured come back fit the boys that don’t do it simply won’t play.

"That’s the message I said to the players, ‘if you don’t want to get to the ball you won’t get in this team’.

"You need to be able to press and get after them.”

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Rovers are back in action tonight when they travel to Mansfield in the EFL Trophy.

The Stags are the only club in England's top four divisions to remain unbeaten in all competitions this season, a run stretching 15 games.

If Doncaster were to inflict their first defeat in 23/24, they would take a big step towards qualification for the round of 32 following their earlier win over Everton Under-21s.

McCann said: “It’s a good game for us against a good Mansfield team.”

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The two sides played out a hard-fought 2-2 draw back in August.

McCann may not have much room to rotate tonight but could bring in the likes of Broadbent, Marsh, Roberts, Deji Sotona, Bobby Faulkner and Ian Lawlor from the start at Field Mill.