Doncaster Rovers: Laid back Mallik Wilks loving his Rovers learning curve on loan from Leeds United

Mallik Wilks is the sort of character of which it could be said he is so laid back he is practically horizontal.

Friday, 5th April 2019, 10:00 am
Mallik Wilks

And by the time be finished his post match press duties following the win over Walsall, he virtually was.

With a big smile on his face after a game in which he won a penalty and scored a spectacular solo effort, the on loan Leeds United forward discussed all manner of topics, slumping lower and lower in his chair as he did so.

From goalscoring and development, to the banter of hiding his team mates’ belonging at Cantley Park, Wilks cut a relaxed figure.

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In the midst of a consistent run of superb form, the 20-year-old has every reason to smile.

Wilks puts his current run down to gradual development rather than anything clicking into place.

“I’m just learning the game more,” he told the Free Press.

“I’ve not got a lot of experience. I'm learning more about game management, when to dribble at people, when to lay it off, things like that.

“It’s good to consistently play.

“When you’re in and out of the team, it’s up and down, and it can knock your confidence.

“Right now I’ve got a lot of confidence.”

Confidence on the pitch has never been something Wilks has lacked, as he trademark runs off the right wing and determination to end every move with a shot would attest to.

Off the pitch, there is plenty of work put in – as boss Grant McCann has revealed since Wilks’ arrival last summer.

The striker certainly seems to appreciate the attention and time McCann has committed to bringing out his best.

“He’ll put his arm around me and talk to me quite a lot, off the pitch, in training,” Wilks said.

“If I’m not doing so well in training, he’ll come and have a word with me.

“He says he can tell when I’m not going to do well in games so he’ll tell me and get me back on it.”

One of the tasks McCann has been at pains to see through is encouraging Wilks to set up a base in Doncaster during his stay at the Keepmoat.

It may be primarily to keep an eye on a strong minded footballer, but Wilks himself says moving closer to work has had its perks.

He said: “He’s sorted me a place down here.

“It helps me rest more rather than having the long drive in a morning with traffic.

“Sometimes I’m late in a morning and I’ll get fined.

“I’m just here now, ten minutes down the road so I get a little lie-in.”

McCann insists Wilks is now arriving early at Cantley Park, rather than squeezing every possible minute out of his lie-ins.

And that backs up the forward’s assertions he is enjoying life at the club – particularly when it comes to pranking team mates.

“I do like the banter, hiding people’s stuff and that,” he said.

“I’m loving it at the moment. Good players, good team, good unit, good spirit round.

“Hopefully I can get 20-plus goals and help us to promotion.”