Doncaster Rovers 'cannot turn down opportunity to progress' in Papa John's Trophy

There may be more pressing matters to attend to in league action but Richie Wellens insists Doncaster Rovers cannot reject the chance to progress in the Papa John’s Trophy.

Tuesday, 9th November 2021, 1:05 pm
Last season's Papa John's Trophy final at Wembley

Rovers head to Scunthorpe United tonight needing only a draw to book their place in the knockout stages.

And Wellens says the prospect of reaching a Wembley final is something no player should pass up the opportunity for.

“If you can get through the group stages, the prize money is good,” he said.

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“It’s a competition I’ve won as a player and a manager.

“This club is never going to win the FA Cup, it’s never going to win the Carabao Cup. The only competition we’re realistically going to win is this one so this is a big opportunity to get to Wembley.

“The dream is to get a Sunderland, Ipswich or Portsmouth in the final and play in front of 70-80,000 at Wembley.

“I don’t think you can turn your nose up at it.”

Rovers triumphed 1-0 at Scunthorpe at the weekend in the FA Cup, having dominated the second half but failed to take their chances.

Wellens is hoping to see a more relaxed performance from his side this evening in a much less pressured environment.

“We took a tremendous crowd with us and I thought we played well at times but there were others where we could have been more relaxed and dominated the ball more,” he said.

“Because it’s not as high pressure a game, I expect us to be better on the ball because the intensity won’t be there.

“If we’re giving young players a chance, I want them to take it.

“The only thing I really want is to progress.”

Rovers are down to the bare bones for the game with 14 players missing training on Monday, including Pontus Dahlberg, Ethan Galbraith and Tiago Cukur, who are all away on international duty.

Tommy Rowe had been a doubt but trained and could be considered this evening.

Ro-Shaun Williams (ankle), Joseph Olowu (back), Rodrigo Vilca (neck), Aidan Barlow (ankle) and John Bostock (groin) are all unlikely to feature.

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