Doncaster Rovers: Joe Dodoo explains why he rejected the chance to stay with Wigan Athletic

Doncaster Rovers striker Joe Dodoo says he rejected the chance to remain with Wigan Athletic for family and football reasons.

Saturday, 11th September 2021, 9:49 am
Updated Sunday, 12th September 2021, 9:15 am
Joe Dodoo

The 26-year-old joined the Latics for the final few months of the season, scoring four goals in 20 appearances, including one against Rovers in April.

He was offered a new deal to stay at Wigan and be a part of the high-profile renovation of the squad but opted against signing the deal.

As he prepares for a return to the DW Stadium today with Rovers - with whom he signed a two-year deal on Monday - he revealed the plans of him and the Latics did not align when it came time to sign.

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“It was difficult because I came in late last year and they already had a project in mind for this year with a clean slate and starting a new team,” Dodoo told the Free Press.

“Basically it was about what I wanted in terms of my family.

“I was quite close to signing it but they had plans, I had plans and some of it was different.

“If we couldn’t agree on that, obviously we’d go separate ways and that’s what happened.

“I think they had their own project in mind. Maybe I could have suited their style, maybe I couldn’t.

“On my side, I wanted to make a football decision and a family decision.

“We didn’t agree on that but it’s football.

“It’s not something I can go deep into about. It just didn’t happen really.”

Rejecting the offer of a new contract saw Dodoo become a free agent for the summer but he insists he was confident of finding new employers to spend the campaign.

“I’ll always back myself because I believe in what I do and I’ve never doubted myself in my career,” he said.

“It’s just a chance for me to get my games, help the club as much as possible.

“It’s football - you have to make the best decision that’s possible for the player, and the club will make the best decision for themselves.

“It’s a two-way thing. When it comes together it works well but sometimes it doesn’t.

“I’m always going to back myself and make the right decision for myself and my family.

“It wasn’t hard really.”

Dodoo - who made his debut in Rovers’ Papa John’s Trophy defeat to Rotherham United in midweek - says he has been impressed by his former club’s start to the new season.

The Latics have taken ten points from a possible 15 despite seeing wholesale changes over the summer with a number of eye-catching and highly-paid signings coming in.

“It’s been a great start for a new team,” he said.

“Usually when you pull together a new team, it doesn’t gel together straight away. You have to go through the struggles, players trying to find their form and trying to learn about their new team mates.

“But it’s been a good start.

“Obviously in this league you can have a good start and dip, or have a bad start and grow so it’s quite early to judge.

“I’m not surprised they’ve got going well because I’d imagine they’d be well-drilled in what they want to do, as well as their budget and the players they’ve signed because it shows their intentions.

“It’s a good start but it’s a little early in the season to judge things.”

Dodoo also praised Wigan boss Leam Richardson, whom he worked under last season.

“He’s a good coach,” he said.

“He’s quite similar to the manager here because he likes to play football the right way.

“He drills players to a specific shape and to a standard.

“Wigan is still a big club so there’s pressure to turn up and perform.

“The players are aware and he always make sure of that as well as being ready to deliver.”

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In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.