Gary McSheffrey criticises lack of courage as Doncaster Rovers slump to Fleetwood Town defeat

Gary McSheffrey criticised his Doncaster Rovers side for a lack of bravery as they slumped to a 1-0 defeat against relegation rivals Fleetwood Town.

Saturday, 8th January 2022, 7:05 pm
Updated Saturday, 8th January 2022, 7:27 pm
Jordy Hiwula tussles with Fleetwood's Harrison Biggins. Picture: Howard Roe/AHPIX

Rovers were lifeless and lacking in threat as they succumbed to defeat to a side that started the day just outside the relegation zone.

And McSheffrey felt they lacked courage to take the game by the scruff of the neck.

"You need a group that has got that self belief and character, and we're lacking that and not showing it at the minute," he said.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

"Players need to step up, make things happen and be braver.

"The key word today was courage.

"As a centre half you can put your head on things and that's great. But the biggest bravery in the game is having the courage to take the ball in areas where it's probably not comfortable, but you need to be an option for a team mate.

"I think too many of them were shirking responsibility of being the one to make things happen.

"The punters come, they work hard and they come here wanting to watch a good game of football and be entertained.

"I told the players they need to get them off their seats. Once they see you working with the required workrate and passion, they will come with you.

"But there wasn't enough individuals who grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck today and wanted to be that one.

“They’re all looking around hoping their teammates are that one.”

A goal on 50 minutes from new signing Ellis Harrison was enough to separate the two teams, although Fleetwood were much the stronger throughout the game.

McSheffrey said: “We lacked energy and we lacked belief.

“Fleetwood came here and played like a team that weren’t down the bottom with us. They played with confidence and got their good technical players on the ball to make things happen.

“That was the big one. Belief and energy was the massive difference.

“When you’ve got that, your technical players play better.

“It took us until the 90th minute to have a good effort on goal and if we’d have scored that it would have been smash and grab.“It wasn’t to the standard I was expecting.”


In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.