Doncaster Rovers: Focus all on league after FA Cup heroics

Kenny Jackett
Kenny Jackett

Grant McCann insists there will be no basking in the glory of a history making run in the FA Cup as Rovers get set for a return to league action this weekend.

Rovers visit promotion rivals Portsmouth on Saturday for what McCann says will be a very tough game.

And he says the focus quickly switched from the FA Cup win over Oldham Athletic once his players arrived for training on Monday morning.

"We're keen to move on and carry on with what we're trying to do in the league really,” he told the Free Press.

"We analysed it on Monday morning just like any other game.

“It's important we keep the players' focus on the league and no one is getting above their stations, or believing in all the publicity and hype that comes with it.

"Yes, they've been brilliant but our focus is the league.

“It's as simple as that as we'll crack on with it.”

Saturday's hosts Portsmouth have not been outside the top two in League One since their draw with Rovers at the Keepmoat in late August.

But that status is under threat after a run of three consecutive league defeats including a 3-2 loss to leaders Luton Town on Tuesday night.

But McCann says there will be no underestimating Kenny Jackett's side.

“I think it’ll be a very tough game,” McCann said.

“Myself and Cliff [Byrne, assistant] drove down to watch them last Tuesday against Peterborough. It took us about ten hours to get down there.

“They’ve been flying. They’ve got some good players and they’ve signed Omar Bogle this week who I had last year at Peterborough.

“I know what he's about and there's the two wide players Jamal Lowe and Ronan Curtis.

“It's going to be a tough game but in the home game I thought we were better on the day than Portsmouth.

“We should have won the game after the first half performance, though they got better in the second half.

“It's a chance for us to kick on a wee bit more in the league.

“Hopefully that FA Cup game is going to be a catalyst for the rest of the season.

“There’s a big chance for us.”

Though excited about Rovers’ first appearance in the FA Cup fifth round and the chance to pit their wits against Premier League side Crystal Palace, McCann says the next three fixtures in the league prior to the tie are much more important.

"We've got three big games before then against three good teams,” he said.

“I'd be surprised if Southend don't make a late push for it. They've got good players and Portsmouth and Peterborough have been up there all season.

"They're tough games but these are the games that you like, that you want to get something from if you want to be up and around it.”