Gary McSheffrey picks out key moment and says 'fitness levels shone through' in Doncaster Rovers' defeat to Sheffield Wednesday

Doncaster Rovers boss Gary McSheffrey thought his team ‘ran out of steam’ against Sheffield Wednesday.

By Paul Goodwin
Saturday, 19th February 2022, 7:45 pm
Updated Saturday, 19th February 2022, 7:57 pm
Doncaster's players look dejected after conceding their third goal. Photo: Andrew Roe/AHPIX LTD
Doncaster's players look dejected after conceding their third goal. Photo: Andrew Roe/AHPIX LTD

The Owls controlled the majority of the first half but Dan Gardner’s second penalty in successive games on the stroke of half time gave McSheffrey’s men something to hold onto.

They held firm until the 70th minute before the visitors scored three times in 13 minutes through substitutes Callum Paterson and Saido Berahino and star man Barry Bannan.

Wednesday could even afford the luxury of a penalty miss just before Berahino put them ahead when Jonathan Mitchell kept out Bannan’s spot kick.

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The outcome might have been very different had Joseph Olowu not missed a gilt-edged chance when Rovers led 1-0.

Rovers, who have now lost seven successive games at home, remain six points from safety after AFC Wimbledon, in 20th, were also beaten at Bolton.

"For the first 70 minutes or so it was a rolls your sleeves up performance,” said McSheffrey. “We got stuck in and we created a few chances.

"We absorbed a lot of pressure from them. They’re a good team, they move the ball well.

"There was a period where it felt like we were defending quite well and dealing with whatever they were chucking at us.

"We had a massive chance at 1-0 to make it two. I think that changes the game. I think if we score that’s game over and we see out the game.

"You could feel the swing in momentum. That got them buzzing a little bit, they applied a bit more pressure and they got a bit of a second wind with their running. They looked like they were at it to be honest.

"Once they got the goal it gives them that adrenaline and momentum.

"From our point of view the goals were avoidable. I think we just ran out of steam and when you do that you probably get tired minds that don’t make good decisions in that split second.

"Fitness levels shone through a bit at the end. In the last 20 minutes their players were running past our players. Their fitness levels were really high.

"And they’re three quality goals from three former top players that have played at the top level.

"That was the difference today when you can make two subs like that at half time. They’ve got options and I thought their subs, Bannan and [Marvin] Johnson stepped up in the second half and changed the game.”