Press conference: Would Doncaster Rovers boss Grant McCann regard a seventh-placed finish as ‘failure’?

It is the battle to be the ‘best of the rest’ and it is going right down to the wire.

Friday, 3rd May 2019, 13:23 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd May 2019, 15:53 pm
Grant McCann

Doncaster Rovers and Peterborough United might be well adrift of the top five in League One; 15 points separate sixth-placed Rovers and Charlton Athletic in fifth.

But whoever holds their nerve this weekend will land a shot at Portsmouth, Sunderland and Charlton in the play-offs.

And Rovers boss Grant McCann remains convinced his side are as good as anything else in the division.

“The best of the rest is possibly fair,” said McCann.

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“I think what we haven’t done as well [as the top five], and I’m sure Darren [Ferguson] or Steve Evans before him would say the same thing, is the consistency of putting eight, nine or ten wins or unbeaten runs together.

“We’ve always had maybe four wins, lost one or two, responded with a draw and then won again.

“But it’s difficult. Peterborough have obviously had a complete change around in terms of their team.

“We’ve brought in young players on loan, the likes of Herbie Kane and Mallik Wilks for their first season, and then we’ve brought a few in in January.

“There’s been a wee bit of inconsistency from both teams but I’m only worried about us.

“And on any given day, and I firmly believe this, we’re as good as anyone in the league.

“We just haven’t shown it enough to mount a challenge for the top two.”

From the moment McCann arrived at the Keepmoat Stadium last summer, following a season and a half in charge of Posh, promotion has been the target.

The Northern Irishman is reluctant to contemplate finishing outside of the top six. Would he regard seventh-place as a failure?

“I don’t know if I’d say ‘failure’,” he said.

“But to be successful we need to finish in the top six.

“We’ve got players, I feel, are capable of handling the Championship.

“For some of our players it’s probably the last chance saloon to play at that level.

“So there’s a real determination within the group to try and finish the job.”

Rovers host Coventry City on Saturday (5.30pm) and must match or better Peterborough’s result at home to Burton Albion to qualify for the play-offs.