Ben Whiteman: ‘Points haven’t been coming but that’s down to our mistakes, not the manager’

Ben Whiteman celebrates completing his hat trick against Southend United.
Ben Whiteman celebrates completing his hat trick against Southend United.

Three wins from 12 league games may have left Darren Ferguson still trying to win over some Doncaster Rovers supporters.

But the high esteem in which he is held by his players was laid bare by Ben Whiteman after his quickfire hat trick against Southend United.

Employed by Sheffield United, the on-loan midfielder is certainly under no obligation to wax lyrical about Ferguson and his management techniques.

But that is exactly what he did.

“It’s the way he thinks things through, his detailed approach and what we do on the training pitch,” said Whiteman, when he was quizzed what impressed him most about Rovers’ boss.

“I think it definitely shows in our performances. We highlight team’s weaknesses.

“Points haven’t been coming but that’s down to our mistakes, not the manager. They’ve been set pieces and last minute goals. He can’t do anything about that.

“His man management is first class and he’s a really good manager.

“I think the loan spell’s gone really well,” he added.

“Obviously I’ve been playing a little bit deeper than I thought I would have been when I first came, but I’ve enjoyed the role.

“He’s giving me the license to play and I’ve been starting pretty much every game.

“He’s been absolutely first class with me and I can’t thank him enough.”

Whiteman is on loan at Rovers initially until January, when the Blades will review their options.

When asked if he would be open to a prolonged stay at the Keepmoat Stadium, the 21-year-old said: “Yeah, definitely. I think the main thing for me is to keep playing games and getting experience.

“Sheffield United are playing really well at the minute and I like it here, the boys are different class.

“You can’t underestimate how good the manager is, and for me personally everyone’s been unbelievable.

“I’d definitely like to stay until the end of the season.”