John Ryan's message for Doncaster Rovers fans as Gary McSheffrey gears up for first game in permanent charge

Former Doncaster Rovers chairman John Ryan says fans should give Gary McSheffrey a fair crack of the whip.

Sunday, 2nd January 2022, 6:00 am
Former chairman John Ryan is mobbed by fans following Rovers' win against Southend in the 2008 League One play-offs. Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

McSheffrey takes charge of his first game in permanent charge of Rovers at fellow strugglers Morecambe today.

The 39-year-old’s appointment has divided fans with sections of the support accusing Rovers’ hierarchy of taking the ‘cheap’ and ‘easy’ option by promoting the club’s under-18s manager.

But Ryan, chairman of Rovers from 1998 to 2013, has urged supporters to get behind McSheffrey, who faces a huge task in his first managerial job to keep Doncaster in League One.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The 71-year-old has warned, however, that the former Coventry City and Birmingham City forward will need to be backed in the January transfer window – and have a little more luck with injuries than his predecessor Richie Wellens – if he is to guide Rovers to safety.

“Give Gary McSheffrey a chance,” Ryan posted on his Facebook page.

"He may well turn out to be a shrewd investment, he was a clever player and could be a young quality manager.

“When I appointed Sean O'Driscoll I was given a lot of abuse but look how that turned out.

“Gary needs some backing to bring in two or three quality players plus change a couple of loans.

“Get some injured players back and we could escape the drop and build again in the summer.”

Rovers are currently bottom of League One and six points adrift of safety. They have scored just 13 goals in 22 league games.

Ryan appointed O’Driscoll in 2006 and Rovers went on to win the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy in 2007 before being promoted to the Championship a year later.