Frustrated Richie Wellens learns plenty from Doncaster Rovers' defeat to Sheffield United

Richie Wellens felt he learned plenty more from Doncaster Rovers’ heavy defeat to Sheffield United than he did from the impressive performance against Newcastle United.

Wednesday, 28th July 2021, 9:57 pm
Kyle Knoyle battles with Sheffield United's Ben Osborn. Picture: Andrew Roe/AHPIX

Rovers slumped to a 4-0 defeat against the Blades in their final home friendly of pre-season and Wellens was frustrated with various aspects of the performance.

“We have a patched-up team, we looked a patched-up team but some of the lads out there, their reactions and their workrate weren’t great,” the Rovers boss said.

“I’ve learned a lot more tonight than I did against Newcastle.

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“Sometimes pre-season kids you, whether you play too well or you play too badly.

“I’m never one of them that gets kidded by pre-season game.

“Our possession from tonight to Newcastle was a world away.

“It’s probably good that we got it now because we looked like a patched-up side.

“When we started to come into the game, we then gave them a big leg up and they were very comfortable in the game.

“That was a big lesson for our lads because they’re one level above us now. And that is the level you need to get to.

“That’s not just football-wise, but in reactions, intensity, dedication to your work.

“It wasn’t a great evening for us.”

Wellens felt he did not prepare his team adequately for what to expect from United under their new boss Slavisa Jokanovic but admitted predicting what the Blades would do was difficult.

He said: “For Newcastle we planned, we knew how they were going to play because they’ve had the same manager for a long time and we know the system they’re going to play and the players.

“We knew the players tonight but because they’ve got a new manager it was difficult. We tried to get a bit of feedback on the system. The new manager has got a reputation for good football at Fulham. We knew they’d change but we just didn’t know what.

“Therefore we didn’t work on the opposition and we just tried to focus on ourselves. I think that told in our performance.”

Lys Mousset scored twice with Luke Freeman and Oliver Burke also on target for United.

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