Doncaster Rovers v Portsmouth: Liam Mandeville vows to step up in Rovers’ hour of need

Liam Mandeville
Liam Mandeville

One man’s misfortune is another man’s opportunity.

And Liam Mandeville, Doncaster Rovers’ only available striker for tonight’s home clash with Portsmouth, aims to grab his chance with both hands.

By his own admission Mandeville, who enjoyed a breakthrough season in League Two last term, is yet to really get going this time round.

After netting ten times and impressing during a successful 2016/17 campaign, the young forward is still to get off the mark this season.

But with John Marquis suspended this evening, Andy Williams still nursing a thigh problem and Alfie May joining long term absentee Alex Kiwomya on the sidelines, now really would be a great time for the 20-year-old to hit his stride for mis-firing Rovers.

“Sometimes it happens like that,” said Mandeville, who featured for the last half hour at Charlton on Saturday.

“This is the opportunity I was talking about a couple of weeks ago so it’s down to me to take it.

“It’s not somewhere I’ve played before - up there by myself - and obviously I’m not happy for John [Marquis], Alfie [May] and Willo [Andy Williams]. It’s never great to see people injured.

“But, like I say, it’s time for me to step up now and try and help the team win.

“It’s up to me now to keep myself in the team.

“I think something similar to this happened last year, I think it was Willo that got injured last year and that’s how I got my opportunity.

“I’m a confidence player so hopefully I can put in a good performance and get my confidence right up.”

Saturday’s 1-0 reverse at Charlton followed the theme of the season so far; a promising performance but ultimately disappointing result. It was also the seventh time in 13 league games Rovers had failed to score.

“We’ve been saying this pretty much all season now,” admitted Mandeville.

“It’s not about the performances any more, it’s about the results.

“Obviously it’s better than being toasted 4-0 or 5-0. It’s not like that. We’ve had the performances and that indicates the results will come.

“But we’ve got to start getting results. Performances only take you so far. It’s fine margins but if we get them right we’ll be all right.

“One thing that is essential is that when we have a good period in a game we take hold of the game and obviously get a goal in front,” he added.

“I think defensively we’re pretty strong. So if we do get a goal we’ve got a really good chance of staying ahead in a game and going on to win it.”