Doncaster Rovers boss targets recharge in break to power his side up
Periods of rest are on the agenda for this break in action for Doncaster Rovers as boss Richie Wellens seeks to ensure his players are fighting fit.
Wellens says his squad has been pushed to their limits and beyond during the intense recent period, particularly with illness affecting the camp.
But the postponement of Saturday’s trip to Crewe Alexandra due to international call-ups has presented the Rovers boss with flexibility over the next week.
“We’ll give the lads a couple of days break and then everything will be short and sharp fitness-wise,” Wellens told the Free Press.
“A few of them have been ill. We’ve had so many illnesses.
“We lost Aidy Barlow and Dan Gardner through illness. They came back and Ethan Galbraith and John Bostock went down.
“It impacts things, especially when we’re already playing catch-up after pre-season.
“You know you have to make substitutions because you’re worried about players just going.
“We can work with the squad over the next week and make sure we get the right rest and work into them.
“I think by the time we play our next game, we’ll have Jon Taylor and Cameron John fit. They’re two players with athleticism who will make a big difference to the squad.”
One player Wellens has marked out for whom this break will be key is striker Joe Dodoo.
The 26-year-old was a free agent prior to joining Rovers last month and was thrust straight into action, starting six matches in 25 days.
“Joe Dodoo, we’ve pounded,” Wellens said.
“He can have a little break and probably have a three or four day mini-preseason because he’s not had one.
“If you’re Joe Dodoo and you go from running in the park and going to the gym with someone to all of a sudden training and playing Saturday-Tuesday, you work hard but you plateau off.
“The rest will allow him to go even higher. That is what we need to do.”
Winger Taylor has returned to training with Rovers after recovering from the aftereffects of a cyst suffered in the late stages of his comeback from ankle surgery.
John is also due to be fit to face Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday week after recovering from a back issue.