Doncaster Rovers: ‘There’s no room for being safe on Friday night’ warns Grant McCann

Grant McCann
Grant McCann

When it comes to Grant McCann, there should never be expected anything but a positive outlook.

And while his Doncaster Rovers side have a deficit to overturn in their play-off semi-final with Charlton Athletic, he has every reason to be optimistic.

Matty Blair's late goal in Sunday's first leg at the Keepmoat ensured the deficit sits at just one. And there is the real possibility it may have delivered a slight psychological blow to an opposition who looked comfortable in their lead.

McCann is under no illusions of how tough the task will be in Friday night's second leg.

And, as he reflects on how the first meeting played out, the Rovers boss says his side cannot afford to be as cautious as they were in the opening period at the Keepmoat.

"For the first 30 minutes we were comfortable, there was nothing in the game," he told the Free Press.

"There was no much going on - although we did with the bar with Danny Andrew's free kick and Copps had a good shot. I don't think here was much from both teams, in terms of looking to threaten.

"That is what disappointed me the most.

"We were the home team, we had to take the game to them but we didn't.

"It was a wee bit safe for me and that is not how me or this group operate.

"They've not shown this all year.

"There was some nice play and we got into pockets but we'd come back and then play it across the other side. We'd no real killer edge.

"There is no room for being safe on Friday.

"We know what we have to do - we have to win.

"It's going to be difficult but we've got nothing to lose now.

"We'll go there and give it our best shot."

Rovers arguably have a clearer picture of how to approach the second leg - they need to win.

But McCann believes Charlton boss Lee Bowyer will not be toiling with thoughts on how to send out his side at The Valley - he will want to win the match too.

"I think it's difficult for both scenarios," McCann said.

"We've got to go to The Valley and win. They don't. They can draw and get through.

"But I don't think it's in their DNA. I don't think they'll sit back.

"I think there will be an expectancy now and the Charlton fans will expect them to get the job done. Rightly so, they're 2-1 up at home.

"But I've no idea what Lee Bowyer is thinking. That's not my concern.

"My only concern is to go and try to win the game."

McCann says Blair's goal gave his players a lift for the second leg.

He revealed the players had trudged in deflated at half time as they found themselves 2-0 down but bounced in at full time despite losing on the day.

"I think the goal was very important," McCann said.

"It's given us something to hang onto now and we can take it into the next game.

"We know we've got the artillery with the players at the top end of the pitch, that we can hurt any team in this league.

"It's the last game of the season at the minute and we want to make sure that it's not.

"We need to approach the game like we have predominantly this season, start well, on the front foot, with real energy and tempo in and out of possession.

"I feel good right now.

"We're right back in the tie, one goal down at half time, whatever way you want to look at it.

"We've got a good chance."