Rovers Survey: Injuries most to blame for relegation, say one in four

Rob Jones
Rob Jones

On and off the pitch, there were several factors involved in Rovers’ relegation.

But it was injuries that were most to blame, according to the Big Doncaster Rovers Survey.

One in four supporters cited injuries to the likes of influential captain Rob Jones and the impressive Bongani Khumalo (pictured) as the main reason behind Doncaster’s drop.

Boss Paul Dickov didn’t get off lightly; he took 15% of the vote when it came to pinpointing who, or what, was most to blame for Rovers’ relegation.

Not far behind on 12% each were the players and the board, with bad luck (10%), tactics (9%) and a mixture of other reasons (17%) accounting for the rest of the vote.

Darren King, of Didcot, said: “I think injuries to key players cost us in the end. It was no coincidence that we didn’t win another game after the injury to Richie Wellens at Leeds.”

“Too many long term injuries,” said John Keys. “Rovers seem to be beset with these regardless of who is the manager or trainer.”

“Injuries played a major role, but at times towards the end of the season we needed to be more resilient and just grind out a result,” said Keith Kitchener, of Branton.

Steven Schofield pointed the finger more at the board: “A little more investment (not from Ireland or Belize) could have been so beneficial and a good long-term investment. 
“Also, we do not appear to be developing sufficient home-grown talent.”

Ray Hobson said: “Again, there was no ambition in football terms - just financial objectives. 
“The board either needs to take it seriously or get someone in who is prepared to invest - look at the other clubs in the area. 
“What makes it worse for me is I now live in Reading, and I’ve seen what they’ve achieved forma similar position to the Rovers in the late 70s.”

“Combination of injuries, appalling refereeing decisions at times and apparent lack of enthusiasm from board. Bring back John Ryan!” said Alan Broughton, of Balby.

However, Kevin Twell was less sympathetic towards Rovers’ ex-chairman. “[I blame] John Ryan and Sequentia Capital for causing disruption. We never got to put our squad together in time.”

Chris Berriman highlighted Dickov’s performance. He said: “The players can give it their all but if you are using the wrong tactics and formations given by the manager, the buck stops with him.”

Chris Hardy was not happy about “always having to rely on bargain basement loan opportunities”.

While Andy Faulkner blamed the players for ‘momentary lapses’ but added: “As a group they played very well in many of the games.”

“Everyone should take some of the blame,” reasoned Ryan Hatton.

Frank Beaumont, meanwhile, said Rovers were let down by the Doncaster public.

He said: “After the team’s success over the last 10 years, gates of 10-12k should have been achievable. That would have made big difference to the team’s achievements.”