New signings key to Gary McSheffrey's vision for getting Doncaster Rovers firing

Gary McSheffrey believes new additions will be vital to revolutionising Doncaster Rovers’ attacking threat.

Wednesday, 5th January 2022, 12:21 pm
Gary McSheffrey looks to encourage his players during Sunday's defeat to Morecambe

Rovers are the lowest scorers in League One and new boss McSheffrey has made it his primary goal to get them firing in front of goal.

He has clear ideas on where greater threat can be added to his squad but thinks new signings in January will be key to making it a reality.

“I don’t want to be tippy tappy, overplay and be great box to box,” he told the Free Press.

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“I want to be effective and I want the lads to get the belief.

“To get that nailed on, we definitely would need a couple of additions that like running behind and who can deliver that final pass.

“I think you’ve got the midfielders to play good football. During spells this season, with the home games that I watched, we played some good stuff.

“But we’ve got to want to run in behind teams more.

“We’ve got to want to penetrate defences more because I think we’ve overplayed this year.

“I think we get to a certain point on the pitch, entering the final third and we’re still looking for little short passes.

“If teams are defending brave with a high line, you’ve got to want to hurt them. You want wingers to run in behind, strikers to run in behind and you want full backs to cross the ball from deeper areas.

“I want it to be a bit more realistic, penetrating and hurting the opposition because I feel we let teams off the hook.

“If midfielders are getting into areas where they’re facing the opposition defence and we’ve got behind their midfield line, they need options from attackers and full backs overlapping.”

On top of attacking threat, McSheffrey believes Rovers must get fitness and workrate correct before they have hope of producing a run of results that will enable them to claw their way out of relegation danger.

And he says the stats back up that assertion.

“I’ll be honest, I don’t think we looked fit enough in the first couple of games,” he said.

“We got up to good numbers in the third game and that coincided with a win. It’s not rocket science, the stats don’t lie.

“We ran 114km against Shrewsbury and we won the game. We ran 106km against Sunderland and Mansfield and we lost.

“We got up to good numbers against Oxford, 113km, and we lost in the last few minutes against a really good team who we gave a game to.

“I just think it’s not rocket science at times. You just need to do the ugly things and win your individual battles.

“There a little non-negotiables, the simple things in football, are the ones that take you forward and win you games.

“Technically and tactically there are some very good footballers out there but if you don’t want to work as hard as the opposition and run as much, you’re not going to win football matches.

“Getting the basics right and getting the lads to actually want to run around until they drop and we can bring a sub on for them, I think they’re the key messages.”

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