John Buckley: Liam Mandeville needs to develop selfish streak

Liam Mandeville is set to continue in attack for Rovers this weekend.
Liam Mandeville is set to continue in attack for Rovers this weekend.

I would really like to see Liam Mandeville develop more of a selfish streak.

Liam’s a talented young lad and I’ve been singing his praises in this column for a while now.

He’s likely to partner John Marquis this weekend and, depending on the extent of Andy Williams’ injury, could get an extended run in the side - and I’ve got every confidence in him stepping up to the plate.

The only small criticism I have is that I think, at times, he needs to be a wee bit more selfish.

He’s always looking to play other people in, which he did to very good effect on Saturday against Barnet by superbly teeing up Matty Blair for his goal.

But with Williams sidelined Rovers will need Marquis and/or Mandeville to get on the end of things in the box and test the goalkeeper.

Instead of looking for a pass, I’d like to see Mandeville try his luck on goal a bit more. I once saw him score one heck of a goal from outside the box at the Keepmoat Stadium in the FA Youth Cup, so he’s definitely got it in his locker.

Williams and Marquis had a good thing going on so it’s a blow that their partnership has been broken.

But with Mandeville playing in between the lines and Marquis holding things up like an old-fashioned number nine, I see no reason why those two can’t hit it off. The pair of them certainly won’t lack anything in work rate.

I thought the win over Barnet showed the newfound character in this team.

We outplayed them in the first half and at half time you could not see any way back at all for the Bees - but fair play to them for doing just that. Not so long ago at 2-2 we might’ve gone into our shells, so it was great to see us go and earn all three points.

That’s nine successive league games we’ve not lost at the Keepmoat Stadium now, and that represents a big step forward given the problems we’ve had at home in recent seasons.

I’m confident the good home form will continue on Saturday.

Charity bet: Rovers 2 Colchester United 0