Perspective important for Doncaster Rovers boss as his side bounced back in style at Sunderland

Gary McSheffrey says perspective was important as Doncaster Rovers bounced back from their humbling by Rotherham United to beat Sunderland on their own patch.

Sunday, 6th February 2022, 9:04 am
Updated Sunday, 6th February 2022, 10:19 am
Gary McSheffrey
Gary McSheffrey

Rovers looked at a low ebb when thumped 5-0 by their neighbours in midweek but rallied superbly to produce a sensational performance in their fully-deserved triumph at the Stadium of Light.

McSheffrey had been critical of his contribution to the Millers game but recognised the bigger picture for Rovers in recent weeks has been a positive one.

“It is about perspective at times,” he said.

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“I was really down Tuesday night and Wednesday morning and I needed to give myself a little shake, go for a run and put things into perspective.

“What an opportunity it was to come here and bounce back.

“It’s about now how we recover and take the confidence into another difficult game on Tuesday.

“Every game is difficult but there’s the big teams and we all knew we had a very tough end of January and the whole of February.

“We’re four in and we’ve got two wins. If you’ve offered that before the MK Dons game, I’d have snapped your hand off.

“We could have been unbeaten and only took four points if we drew them all.

“We’d snap your hands off for one win in two between now and the end of the season.”

The victory - Rovers’ first ever in the league against Sunderland - left Rovers eight points from safety following a string of improved performances that have perhaps not returned the points they ought to have.

McSheffrey feels the defeat, and more importantly the performance, against Rotherham was a blip in an otherwise positive run where his players have increased in confidence.

“I could sense that all the time and I’ve sensed it over the last three or four weeks,” he said.

“Tuesday was just a blip.

“Some errors I’ve owned and the players know they can’t perform to that level.

“Ultimately I’ve asked for a response and I’ve got it.

“It’s a massive win.

“In the first half I thought the game plan was spot on and the lads executed it perfectly.

“Bar one chance they had with a header, I thought we should have gone in three or four up.

“We were clinical but we were unlucky, we hit the post, the goalkeeper made a couple of good saves and we were unlucky with a couple rebounds.

“I thought we were well worth our two goal lead at half time.

“In the second half you’re going to weather a storm against these.

“I just asked the boys for a solid, man’s performance in the second half.

“I said it was a perfect game for us to bounce back in. It’s a difficult one but these players at Sunderland are top players but they’re only human. You’re going to feel that pressure when you hear the booing at half time and the expectancy levels of coming out to beat bottom of the league.

“When you come to arenas like this you’ve got to quieten the crowd and when you do that they’ll start turning on every poor touch and backwards pass. That’s what happened.

“We were unlucky not to be four or five up at half time and the booing was music to my ears.”

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