Doncaster Rovers boss shows players his angry side ahead of Lincoln City clash

No more Mr Nice Guy.

By Paul Goodwin
Tuesday, 15th February 2022, 6:00 am
Gary McSheffrey
Gary McSheffrey

Doncaster Rovers boss Gary McSheffrey gave his players a glimpse of his angry side after re-watching their shocking second half collapse at Portsmouth.

The 39-year-old had favoured a softly-softly approach after inheriting a squad low on confidence when he took over from Richie Wellens at the start of December.

But he had ‘firm words’ with his squad at Cantley Park on Monday and expects a reaction at Lincoln City tonight.

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“The lads are under no illusions that they need to respond,” he said. “I've made my feelings quite clear about that and I've been vocal with it.

“A response is needed. It's a big game. It's a bit of a derby again so it's a game where I'll expect us to be at it, to want to win, to want to compete and be hard to hard score against.”

Asked if he saw any anger from his players in the Fratton Park dressing room after Saturday’s 4-0 defeat, McSheffrey replied: "You see it from a few.

“The anger was more from me today because I’ve had time to reflect and watch things. I don’t like just going in blind and ranting and raving for the wrong reasons.

"There were some firm words today and I’d like to think that the lads have taken them on board and had a little look at themselves and think ‘Am I actually doing enough here [in training], at home and out on the pitch?’.

“Deep down you’d probably say two or three are doing enough. The rest really need to raise the bar with everything they are doing.”

Rovers have won three and lost ten of McSheffrey’s 13 league games in charge and are nine points from safety as the season heads towards the final straight.

"I had to try and get confidence levels up initially,” he said. “I couldn’t batter players and hammer players because they don’t respond to that well in the modern game.

"Youngsters don’t really respond to that well. Some older players do.

“You have a two-month period where you see them consistently day-in day-out and game-in game-out and then there comes a point where you think I can’t be a soft touch myself.

“I’ve played for some good managers, a couple at this club. You look at the likes of Darren Ferguson for example.

“He was a great guy, approachable, you could talk to him about anything and he’d give you good advice. He talk through the game with you well and he was very intelligent.

“But there was a line and when he said something and he meant it you listened and when he lost his head you listened.

“It’s about getting that balance when enough’s enough.

"You’ve had that honeymoon period where there was a bit of a boost in confidence levels. But now you need to produce on a consistent basis because otherwise I can’t keep picking players that are repeatedly making the same sort of errors and not producing.”