Doncaster Rovers: Youngsters ‘must learn tricks of the trade’

Gavin Strachan
Gavin Strachan

Doncaster Rovers’ youngsters must continue to learn the ‘tricks of the trade’.

That was the verdict of assistant boss Gavin Strachan as Rovers prepared for today’s visit of Walsall.

The average age of the side that finished the game against Portsmouth on Tuesday night was just 22.

After racing into a two-goal lead Doncaster went on to grind out a much-needed 2-1 win - and the gritty nature of the victory pleased Rovers’ management team.

However, Strachan says the club’s younger players still have plenty to learn.

“The manager here has shown over the years that he’ll give younger players an opportunity,” said Strachan.

“But we also demand off them.

“They have to become street-wise. And they have to learn, if you like, the tricks of the trade.

“That’s what we relate the fine margins to, in terms of winning and losing.

“It’s about them learning quickly, learning how to manage games and deal with certain types of opponents. They’re the bits that young players need to learn.”

The victory over Portsmouth, Rovers’ fourth league win of the season, was the first time they had won by a single goal margin this term, following more comfortable successes over Blackburn, Plymouth and Southend.

“It was a really important win and the players showed a lot of determination and a lot of grit,” said Strachan.

“Given the manner of the goal we conceded, they could’ve buckled but they didn’t, they regrouped.

“I think the victories so far this season have been quite comfortable so to actually grind one out in such a manner was really pleasing.

“I think it’ll give them confidence that they can win that way.

“The phrase ‘fine margins’ has been used an awful lot. We’ve been on the wrong end of it a few times so it was nice on Tuesday to be on the right end of it.

“It should provide the lads with confidence that when it is tight, we can prevail in those circumstances.”

Walsall have won on their last four visits to Doncaster.