Doncaster Rovers caretaker boss Gary McSheffrey on working alongside Frank Sinclair: 'Sometimes I have to tell him to chill out"

When it comes to Doncaster Rovers’ interim management team, it is clear that Gary McSheffrey is the good cop of the duo.

Wednesday, 22nd December 2021, 4:00 pm
Gary McSheffrey and Frank Sinclair
Gary McSheffrey and Frank Sinclair

But he insists it is the passion of number two Frank Sinclair that is behind the former Chelsea defender’s more critical approach to coaching.

Sinclair has been the much more animated of the two since stepping up to assist McSheffrey on a temporary basis from his usual role as U16s coach at the club.

“It’s good working with him. He’s lively,” McSheffrey told the Free Press.

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“I’ve been here longer than him and I’ve come in and said I’m not taking an approach where I let anyone see any frustration or me battering the boys. No chance.

“Frank can’t help but show his emotion. He wants to win.

“Frank has not been here and heard all the messages that have been said to the boys before.

“He tries to be constructive but he’s probably a little bit firmer than myself. That’s just his passion for the game.

“He’s a good guy.

“He claims for all sorts of things. I almost passed him my glasses at one stage because he was claiming for corners and decisions that never were.”

Though somewhat thrown together by circumstance following the departure of Richie Wellens as manager earlier this month, McSheffrey says the dynamic between himself and Sinclair has been productive - even if he needs to rein his assistant in at times.

“We bounce off each other quite well,” he said.“Sometimes I have to tell him to chill out a little bit.

“It’s his passion and his desire.

“He’s been brought up and played football for clubs that have won a lot. He’s a winner.

“For him to come and not try to pass that on and show it to the boys, he wouldn’t be being himself.

“I’m the one that makes them know that anything said is constructive and for us to go forward as a collective and be strong.

“They know that. They know we’re not here to single anyone out or hammer anybody.

“We’re here to try to get the boys in a good place.

“I don’t think they’re far off. Results change mindset.”

McSheffrey admitted the squad needed reassuring that he was supportive of them and would not be constantly critical of mistakes.

But that does not mean he will not call out unacceptable levels of performance.

He said: “I think they can see that from my actions.

“You can reassure them of it and say that. But you still expect a certain level of performance.

“I think there have been certain times where we haven’t had that. Against Oxford, in the first half some of them looked like they were fearing things and I told them, without naming names, that a few of them were hiding.

“And I told the experienced ones that they need to help the younger ones through it.

“You tiptoe around how you say things because you don’t want them to go under. They’re under a lot of pressure and confidence has been low so you don’t want them to go under.

“But I think they can take a lot of character and confidence from what they’ve done in the last game and a half and they can build on that.”


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.