Doncaster Rovers: Survival is the priority - Wellens

Wellens and teammates celebrate Theo Robinson's goal at Wigan.
Wellens and teammates celebrate Theo Robinson's goal at Wigan.

Richie Wellens says Rovers are still four or five players short of a squad that could comfortably hold its own in the Championship.

The 33-year-old midfield maestro - back at the Keepmoat after four seasons at Leicester City - is well qualified to comment on the rigours of the second tier.

And despite Doncaster’s excellent start to the new campaign, he has fired a warning not to look too far beyond firstly surviving in the division.

“We had about eight international players when I was at Leicester and we thought we were good enough to get promoted,” said Wellens.

“Obviously that didn’t happen. It’s a tough league. If you’re not on your game, it doesn’t really matter who you’re playing against, you tend to get beaten.

“Theo Robinson’s come in last week and that gives everyone a boost.

“Whenever I’ve been at a club and you see new players coming in, you want to show them that you’re a good player, and that should spread around the dressing room.

“If we can get four or five more I believe we have a squad that can compete.

“Whether that’s mid-table, or higher, we’ll see.

“I think with any promoted club, first and foremost, you make sure you stay in the league,” he added.

“It’s a great league and there are some big clubs in it, many of whom have played in the Premier League during recent times.

“It’s about small steps for us. The manager here has got a good opportunity to turn us into a good side.”

Wellens, whose short term contract Paul Dickov has described as being “as long as a piece of string”, has been one of the shining lights of Doncaster’s promising return to the Championship.

He limped off on Tuesday night at Wigan with a dead leg but should be fit for this weekend’s trip to Charlton Athletic.

“I’m hoping to get better over the next two or three weeks because I’ve not really played for so long,” he said.

“I was pleased with my performance against Blackpool. That was my first ninety minutes for six months so it was tough.

He added: “When I was here the first time I played in a free role of sorts and I was able to get forward and create chances. That’s what I think is my best position.”