Noel Hunt questions whether some Doncaster Rovers players know what it takes to be professional footballers following cup exit

Doncaster Rovers assistant manager Noel Hunt questioned whether some of the club’s players know what being a professional footballer is all about after they slumped out of the Papa John’s Trophy with defeat at Crewe Alexandra.

Wednesday, 1st December 2021, 11:44 pm
Noel Hunt

Rovers were the better side in the first half but found themselves a goal down to Ben Knight’s wonder strike.

And they failed to replicate their efforts after the break and exited the competition with a whimper as Oli Finney doubled Alex’s advantage and saw them through to a comfortable triumph, leaving Hunt scathing at Rovers’ performance.

“Angry, frustrated, disappointed,” Hunt said.

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“Some of these players don’t know what it takes to be a professional footballer.

“There was a lack of fight. The front three were miles off it.

“There wasn’t much in the game. We got final third entries, we got crosses into the box but the only difference was they wanted to score and we didn’t.

“Apart from Tom Anderson, Kyle Knoyle, Joe Olowu and Tommy Rowe who showed some fight when he came on, we struggled in midfield.

“It’s really disappointing all round.

“In the first half we started well, we were on the front foot, we created chances.

“But because we haven’t scored, we go and try the other things and think we have the answers ourselves rather than sticking to the gameplan and having discipline to keep working on the patterns that will give us the goals eventually.

“It’s about the hunger and desire to sprint to get inside the six yard box where it hurts to score. We’ve got to make sure we instil that and they understand what it takes.”

Hunt felt Rovers lost the game far too easily having been in a decent position in the opening half hour of the tie.

“Absolutely we lost too easily,” he said.

“Their first goal is a great goal but Tiago [Cukur] has got to do more. Louis has kicked to him but it’s too easy and he lets [Terell] Thomas come and take the ball on his chest rather than fighting for it and showing that he wants to win the individual battle that we speak about every single day.

“He needs to accept that he hasn’t got the ball and then chase and win it back. Negative reactions are not good enough.

“It’s not good enough for Doncaster Rovers and it’s not good enough for us. We won’t accept it.”

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