Doncaster Rovers: Kieran Sadlier cries freedom in battle for play-off place
If anyone knows about playing with freedom, it is Kieran Sadlier.
And he says shaking off the mental shackles will be key for Doncaster Rovers to get what they need to secure sixth spot in League One in their final two games of the regular season.
Sadlier impressed greatly after coming off the bench at half time with Rovers 2-0 down to Accrington Stanley.
Operating in a free role behind a front two, he cracked the bar with a stunning strike and almost snatched a last gasp draw with a drive that struck the post.
So as Rovers head to in-form Oxford United on Saturday desperately seeking a win to keep ahead of Peterborough United, Sadlier says the best way to handle the high pressure situation is to do so with freedom.
“I think we just need to play with freedom and go out and play football,” he told the Free Press.
“Players in the team know how to play football and we’ve got goals in the team all over.
“The left back has scored in the last few games, we’ve got a striker that has scored goals over the last few years and we’ve got other players in the team that can score as well.
“There’s all over the pitch and we’ve just got to enjoy it and just be confident.”
Successive defeats to Sunderland and Accrington have come with uncharacteristically panicky performances from Rovers.
But Sadlier denies suggestions nerves have set in with Rovers so close to achieving a play-off place.
“I don’t think there are any nerves,” he said.
“It’s an exciting place to be in the spot we’re in.
“I think we should relish that and enjoy it.
“As the gaffer has said, we have to enjoy it.
“These are the times in football that you want to be part of. You want to be in play-off spots. You don’t want to be down at the bottom, struggling and trying to get a win to stay up.
“We’re in a position that we’ve got to enjoy.”
Sadlier is in prime position to start against Oxford after his impressive performance off the bench against Accrington.
After a period acclimatising to life in Doncaster following a full summer season in the League of Ireland which only ended in November, the 24-year-old says he is enjoying himself, particularly after a run of starts in Rovers’ recent good run.
“I’m loving being here,” he said. “It’s a team that is enjoyable to play in.
“There’s players in the team that are going to give me the ball so I can play my game.
“I’m loving every single minute of it to be honest.”