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Doncaster Rovers: Mallik Wilks ‘can be a crowd-pleaser’

Mallik Wilks
Mallik Wilks

Grant McCann has backed Mallik Wilks to become a fan favourite during his time with Doncaster Rovers.

Wilks joined Rovers from Leeds United last week on a six-month loan deal.

And McCann believes he will make a big impression during his time at the Keepmout.

“I saw him last season at Accrington and knew what he’s about with his pace, his power, his left foot, his shooting ability,” McCann told the Free Press.

“I think the boys have been quietly surprised about the standard of him since he came in.

“He’s raised the standard in training.

“He’s one I think the fans are going to like, with that threatening pace in behind and also the ability he’s got.

“He was excellent here at the training ground against Leeds at the weekend, against his old teammates.

“He’ll give us something different.

“We’re delighted to have him here, he’s going to be a huge threat for us this year.

“We just want to try to keep improving him while he’s here and send him back to Leeds, if he does go back there, a better player.”

Wilks was the stand out for Rovers in a behind-closed-doors friendly against his parent club Leeds United on Saturday.

The 19-year-old’s experience of playing as part of a promotion winning side last season was a big attraction for Rovers boss McCann.

He spent the first half of last season on loan with eventual League Two champions Accrington Stanley.

And McCann believes that experience will stand him in good stead to help Rovers push for promotion themselves in the coming season.

“Being part of a promotion team was another reason why I wanted to have those sorts of characters about the place,” he told the Free Press.

“Then he went to Grimsby and his record was decent there in terms of the minutes he played and goals he scored.

“He’s a good lad, a great lad.

“He’s had a few problems off the pitch but it’s nothing I’m not used to, dealing with rough diamonds.

“He’s a lovely lad. He comes in with a wee smile and works hard so I’m delighted to have him.”

McCann says there have been no conversations regarding the possibility of Wilks staying at Rovers beyond his initial six month deal.

But he is hopeful Wilks will have done enough by then to earn an extended stay.

He said: “Let’s take it day and month by month.

“Hopefully by six months he’ll have scored 20 goals and Leeds say we can keep him on a permanent.

“That would be ideal for us.

“I wish I had a crystal ball and could make that happen.”