'I like him, he entertains me' - Gary McSheffrey tips Jason Lokilo to make a big impression after development with Doncaster Rovers

He has made a big impact at U23 level and Jason Lokilo has been tipped to make a similar impression for Doncaster Rovers’ first team.

Tuesday, 3rd March 2020, 5:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 4th March 2020, 1:44 am

Gary McSheffrey was tasked with helping the 21-year-old get up to match fitness with the U23 group following his deadline day loan move from Crystal Palace.

Lokilo made his senior debut off the bench in last weekend’s win over Wycombe Wanderers, sparking the third goal with a dangerous cross which the Chairboys’ Jason McCarthy turned into his own goal.

And he followed it up with a brilliant full match performance for the U23s on Monday as they demolished Scunthorpe United 6-1, with Lokilo on the scoresheet.

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Jason Lokilo

U23 boss McSheffrey has been impressed with the Belgian winger since his arrival - not just with his ability in possession, but the development of his work off the ball.

“I think on the ball he’s top drawer,” he told the Free Press.

“I spoke to Richard Shaw, who was his U23s coach at Palace, on the day we signed him and the message was ‘Sheffs, on the ball you will love him.’

“He’s my type of player in similar positions to where I played.

“He said out of possession he could do with a bit of development, a bit more of a work ethic off the ball to get back into a position and a shape early and be compact.

“I think he’s buying into that. As soon as you give him little reminders he’s straight back in there to collect that second ball in those pockets.

“When he gets on it, you can’t really coach him. Players like that you just let the shackles off and let them be free spirits.”

McSheffrey believes Lokilo has shown enough development in his short time at the club to justify selection from Darren Moore on a regular basis.

And he is confident the winger can make a big contribution at senior level over the remainder of the campaign.

“I think he could,” he said.

“The disciplines required in the modern game, a lot of the out of possession stuff you need to have it regardless of what you can do on the ball.

“No teams can afford to carry players and have the luxuries that won’t put the graft in.

“Fair play to him, he’s done it for me.

“I think he’s got enough in possession to definitely make an impact at first team level.

“He opens up defences, with quick feet. He draws in defenders and you can always get an overload of 2v1 because he sucks players in. Defenders engage him to try to win the ball and it always frees up a spare man.

“If he releases at the right time he can open up and unlock defences.

“I think he’s been good. His attitude has been spot on for me.

“I like him, he entertains me and I like it when players do that.”