Doncaster Rovers: Grant McCann tells players ‘embrace the nerves but don’t let them affect you’ ahead of Crystal Palace clash

Grant McCann has urged his Doncaster Rovers players to embrace the butterflies they will feel ahead of Sunday's FA Cup clash with Crystal Palace.

Friday, 15th February 2019, 8:21 pm
Updated Friday, 15th February 2019, 8:27 pm
Grant McCann

The Rovers boss said he had to accept there was going to be plenty of excitement within the group for the tie, which will be broadcast live by the BBC.

While acknowledging there will be also nerves among his players this weekend - particularly the younger members of the squad - McCann has backed them to stay calm and deliver a performance.

Grant McCann

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"There's big interest in it," he said. "It's great for them.

"It's a young group apart from James Coppinger and Andy Butler. They're quite a young group so this is probably the biggest game they've had in their career in terms of the magnitude.

"There will definitely be butterflies in the stomach going to bed on Saturday and waking up on Sunday.

"But if you didn't have that then you're not in the right business.

"Hopefully it doesn't affect them too much and they can go and play their game.

"We just have to keep doing what we're doing.

"No one is getting above their stations, and if they were they'd be getting brought back down to earth.

"Everyone is on a level keel and is looking forward to the game and we can go and enjoy it."

McCann left it to actions rather than words when attempting to keep his players level-headed in the build-up to Sunday's game.

The Rovers boss endeavours to keep his squad's emotions in check throughout the season and insists it has been no different heading into the clash with the Premier League side.

McCann successfully guided his squad through Tuesday's league match with Southend United without the cup game providing a distraction.

And he says he felt the best method to avoid anyone getting overhyped was to give his players time off following the impressive 3-0 win before getting back down to business on the training ground.

"It's been easy because I haven't seen them for a few days," he said.

"I gave them a couple of days off after the game on Tuesday because they deserved it.

"We've gone game, game, game, training, training so we gave them a couple of down days.

"They came back in on Friday with a real spring in their step.

"They worked hard and you can sense there is a real buzz about this game.

"It's nothing over the top, nothing out of the ordinary, nothing I haven't seen when I've given them a day off before during the week.

"They're just excited to be back.

"Training was lively and they're all trying to get in that team."