Doncaster Rovers boss grilled on team selection issues including Aidan Barlow, Josh Martin and Reo Griffiths following defeat to Charlton Athletic

This is what boss Gary McSheffrey had to say about some of his big team selection calls following Doncaster Rovers’ defeat to Charlton Athletic.

By Paul Goodwin
Sunday, 27th March 2022, 8:36 pm

McSheffrey made three changes to the team that drew at Fleetwood Town with Ben Jackson, Adam Clayton and Joe Dodoo replacing Josh Martin, Ethan Galbraith and Kieran Agard.

But the changes had very little impact as Rovers failed to score for a fourth successive game and a 1-0 defeat left them staring down the barrel of relegation to League Two with six games left to play.

On leaving out Josh Martin

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Because of the way we shaped up, we put Tommy Rowe there who I felt can sniff out weaknesses and sniff out the danger. He’s our top scorer with eight goals.

The last home game Josh did look a threat, he got shots off et cetera.

But we knew the type of team Charlton were and we felt we needed to be a bit more stronger in there for second balls et cetera and we felt Rowey gave us a little bit more of that.

Ultimately it’s about the end product, the numbers, the stats, the goals. We played our two top goalscorers up there along with Jordy who’s come back.

Aidan Barlow endured a difficult first half against Charlton and was subbed at half time.

Yeah, it didn’t quite work but Josh came on and made a bit of an impact, got on the ball a bit for us.

The game was very stop start in the last 20 minutes and we couldn’t get much fluency going.

On substituting Aidan Barlow at half time

Aidy had a good game last week out there but he was pinned back too much today.

Blackett-Taylor was causing all sorts of problems in the first half and Aidy was on a yellow so we felt Olly [Younger] coming on would be comfortable in that position and we could get Knoyley to keep him a bit quieter.

It worked to a degree for a bit but then Ollie gives the ball away quite cheaply for their goal and he [Blackett-Taylor] gets to the by-line and cuts one back so ultimately he’s had a hand in it.

We needed to make a change, it was just how many to make.

We wanted to keep options open because Matt Smith had a dead leg and was struggling at half time and then you want to put attacking players on as well.

We could’ve comfortably done both wing backs at half time to shore things up and make it a bit better but that was the one we went with.

On starting Barlow at wing back

I think it was right to start with Aidy. He earned a start, he played well last week, he kept Paddy Lane quiet who’s a good player.

But he got a yellow so it was a tactical one [to bring him off]. You don’t want to go down to ten men and we needed to make a change because he was causing all sorts of problems.

Is he getting enough protection from behind him from our wide centre back? We’ll have to look at the video and assess and review things.

On Reo Griffiths not coming off the bench

He was touch and go again. He trained yesterday for a little bit, just joined in.

He’s had a sore hamstring all week.

He thought it was cramp last week and then at the beginning of the week felt it was something worse but managed to do some running and join in yesterday.

But then Matt Smith’s hobbling away with a dead leg or potential sore thigh and you have to make the changes that the game give you.