Richie Wellens admits pressure is on Doncaster Rovers to take wins from 'more kind' run of fixtures

Doncaster Rovers boss Richie Wellens says the primary goal for the remainder of 2021 is to stay in touch with the sides in midtable in League One.

By Liam Hoden
Tuesday, 19th October 2021, 11:49 am
Richie Wellens
Richie Wellens

And he sees the run of fixtures against sides in the bottom half as the perfect opportunity to do that, as well as wrestling their way away from the foot of the table.

Starting with the trip to Gillingham on Tuesday night, Rovers have seven consecutive league matches against sides currently in the bottom half, and will face five of the other six sides that make up the bottom seven.

Wellens believes Rovers must take advantage of the run to avoid giving themselves too much to do in the second half of the campaign.

“We have to get into a situation in January where we are in and around it and we’ve got an opportunity to catch teams that are currently in 13th, 14th, 15th,” he said.

“There are going to be two leagues this year. The current top five are going to run away and are too strong for the rest of the league.

“Then the next six or eight below them are capable of winning four on the bounce but then going and losing four on the bounce.

“We need to make sure in January that we’re in and around that group that can catch those teams. We don’t want to be too cut adrift.

“And these games that are coming up until the end of November are good opportunities to do that.

“We have played some really good teams. At the weekend Gareth Ainsworth, who is a really good guy, the first thing he said when he came in for a drink after the game was that we’re a really good team.

“It’s a compliment but we need to start putting points on the board.

“And in the next six to eight games we have an opportunity to do that.”

Wellens admits the tough start to the season, which has seen Rovers pick up only seven points from their opening 11 matches, has increased the pressure to earn victories in the upcoming ‘winnable’ matches.

“What has happened is that it has put more pressure on us to win these games,” he said.

“We would have liked to be six or seven points better off but we’re not.

“So it’s put pressure on us to win the games like Cheltenham, Cambridge and Crewe at home that are coming up.

“We need to take advantage of it.

“We’ve got ten or 12 games that are going to be cup finals now and we’ll see what the character is at the end of that.

“One thing I will never question is my own character and I’m starting to see signs that my players are growing in character as well.

“These are not easy things to develop.

“Pontus, Galbraith, Smith, Tiago, even Joe Dodoo who is 26 but has not been a 50 game a season guy - these are people that have to go through these scenarios to get better and I think they are.”


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.