Doncaster Rovers: FA Cup run would be ideal scenario for McCann

Grant McCann
Grant McCann

He has made no secret of his affection for cup competitions and the potential positive impacts of a good run in knockout action.

It is little surprise then to hear Grant McCann is dreaming of a place in the third round or beyond as Doncaster Rovers kick off their FA Cup campaign this weekend.

Rovers head to National League North side Chorley in Sunday’s first round tie.

After previously encouraging success for his side in both the Carabao Cup and Checkatrade Trophy, McCann says advancing in the FA Cup is a real priority for his team this season.

“Definitely," he told the Free Press.

“It was high on the agenda when I was at Peterborough last year and it is now I'm here.

“If we can get through the first couple of rounds and see what the third round throws us and see if we can go further than that.

“That's the ideal scenario.”

McCann’s words on cup competition are more than mere rhetoric.

Illustrating that fact were the strength of the sides he fielding in Rovers’ first ties in both the Carabao Cup and Checkatrade Trophy.

And with the FA Cup first round falling on a weekend, he fully intends to name a strong side against the relative minnows of Chorley while planning to make changes for next Wednesday’s final Checkatrade Trophy group game at Notts County.

"We'll be as strong as we can be,” he said.

“I'll pick a team based on how they train this week and who's ready.

"For the Checkatrade game, the team will probably be very similar to what is was the last time, albeit within the rules.

“It's a good opportunity for us to get some minutes for people.”

As for Chorley, McCann is expecting a tough test from the non-league side and has done his homework on the Lancashire outfit.

The Magpies were the early pacesetters in National League North, going unbeaten until defeat to Bradford Park Avenue last month sparking a run of four consecutive defeats in all competitions.

Chorley - managed by Jamie Vermiglio – may be enduring a difficult period of form but McCann says it will not be easy for Rovers.

"I went to watch them against Stockport and I've seen the game against Spennymoor from the weekend,” McCann said.

"They've got players who can hurt you. The two Newby brothers have got something about them, midfielder players. Their forwards will work hard.

"But we have to make sure we're on our game and that we take our first chance.

"It's going to be a proper cup tie, it always is in the FA Cup.

“I saw them there against Fleetwood last year or the year before, they went 1-0 up and Fleetwood ended up coming back.

“It'll be a tough game.

“They're on a similar run to us after a great start.

“It's a game we want to try to progress so we'll be doing all we can.”

McCann says there will be no culture shocks for Rovers as they visit Victory Park on Sunday and insists professionalism must be the order of the day if his side are to avoid the proverbial banana skin.

And he says he is very keen to avoid the task of a replay back at the Keepmoat.

"I had experience like this last year against Woking [as Peterborough boss],” he said.

“We drew the first game but we won big in the replay.

“We don't want replays. We want to go there and get the job done.

“It's not going to be easy but we'll be professional.

“We'll travel on the Saturday and let the boys see the stadium so there'll be no surprises to it on Sunday.”