Lack of goals only partly to blame for relegation, says Doncaster Rovers striker Joe Dodoo

Joe Dodoo accepts he did not score enough goals – but says Doncaster Rovers’ downfall wasn’t purely down to their attacking impotency.

By Paul Goodwin
Thursday, 19th May 2022, 10:55 am
Updated Thursday, 19th May 2022, 12:04 pm

The 26-year-old netted eight times in 39 appearances after joining Rovers as a free agent in early September – although four of those goals came in the Papa John’s Trophy.

Rovers managed just 37 goals in 46 league games as they remained rooted in the drop zone all season and were relegated to League Two.

But while Dodoo has held his hands up about his own personal goal tally and also the team’s attacking shortcomings, he says Rovers were also too inconsistent, found themselves behind in games too often and did not dig out enough draws.

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Joe Dodoo scores against Manchester City U21s.

Doncaster (10) won more games than Fleetwood Town (8) who stayed up on goal difference but only Crewe (31) lost more games than Rovers (28) and no one in the division drew fewer games than Gary McSheffrey’s side (8).

"We massively underachieved as a squad,” said Dodoo.

"It’s something I’m not happy about in terms of me personally and the team [collectively].

“I just feel like we couldn’t get the consistency we needed to stay up. We win a game and then we lose two or three. And then we win again and we lose maybe four.

"I just think we could’ve managed games better, we could’ve played for more draws.

"When you lose so many games and you concede so many goals you don’t give yourself any chance. I felt like we gave ourselves a mountain to climb in most of the games. Usually down one or down two.

"As a whole we’ve not been consistent enough and when the team’s not consistent things like this [relegation] happen.”

He added: “From experience you’ve got to win ugly sometimes. Sometimes you’ve just got to get the win. It doesn’t matter how it looks.

"And then if you stay up you can re-evaluate how you want to play and change things but when you’re under it and things aren’t going well you’ve just got to roll your sleeves up and just win ugly.

"For me I personally think that would’ve helped but we’ve done our best and the lads were eager to learn. We had a really young team and it’s a learning curve and one that everybody will bounce back from.”

Dodoo’s four league goals came against Cheltenham Town, Cambridge United, MK Dons and Burton Albion, while the former Wigan and Rangers forward scored braces against Manchester City U21s and Scunthorpe United in the EFL Trophy.

“It’s not what I would like at all,” he said, reflecting on his goal tally. “It would’ve been good to get to 10 or 12.

"It’s been hard. Goals have been hard to come by. We’ve not scored many – Tommy Rowe got nine, I got eight and below that there’s not much more.

"It would’ve been good to add another maybe eight or ten for myself and maybe Tommy but it’s been tough to get chances and it’s been a really tough season in general for the whole team.

"As a centre forward it’s been tough to get shots in games. I think we know what the problem is but it came too late.

"It’s been hard to create chances and I think it’s something we’ll look to fix as quickly as possible. We should’ve been aware of this issue earlier.”

Dodoo remains under contract for next season along with fellow forwards Reo Griffiths, Jordy Hiwula and Kieran Agard.

Griffiths scored two in 16 appearances, Hiwula scored one in 25 appearances, while Agard has made eight appearances and is yet to get off the mark.