Richie Wellens apologises for not acknowledging Doncaster Rovers supporters and calls on players to get fans singing again

Richie Wellens is desperate to hear Doncaster Rovers supporters singing songs about his players.

By Liam Hoden
Thursday, 12th August 2021, 1:07 pm
Updated Thursday, 12th August 2021, 1:49 pm
Rovers fans during the clash with AFC Wimbledon last week
Rovers fans during the clash with AFC Wimbledon last week

But he has told his squad in no uncertain terms that it is down to them to inspire the songs in the first place.

The Rovers boss said the atmosphere in last weekend’s season opener at the Keepmoat was flat, and understood the lack of excitement in the stands due to the performance on the pitch.

And he has called upon his players to help change the mood by doing their jobs to turn in strong performances.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

“We need to give our supporters energy and something to buy into,” he told the Free Press. “We didn’t do that.

“We’ve got a new group of players and our supporters need to start singing songs about individuals.

“But the only way that is going to happen is if these individuals and new players give them something to relate to.

“Then we’ll start to develop a really good atmosphere at the ground.

“I didn’t feel that and I’m sure the supporters agree with me.

“When we get going, we give them things to cheer and we start developing, the players will connect with the supporters and the supporters will start to sing songs about the players.

“That will then grow the players’ confidence.”

There was some disappointment among Rovers fans at the weekend after Wellens and several of his players did not go over to the stands and acknowledge supporters in the aftermath of the defeat to AFC Wimbledon.

Wellens admits that was a mistake and has pledged that it will not happen again, regardless of the result.

He said: “I was disappointed with our performance on Saturday and sometimes when you have a poor performance, you want to get in as a manager to give yourself five minutes to focus.

“I don’t want to say something I might regret in the heat of the moment.

“We didn’t come and clap our supporters off at the end of the game and I was aware some of our players didn’t either.

“I apologise to our supporters that we didn’t do that.

“We made sure to do that at Walsall and obviously it is easier to do it in the circumstances when we win.

“But I promise that every single week, home or away, we will respect that they’ve travelled and spent their hard-earned money to support us and get behind us.

“First of all we want to give them a performance on the pitch but we will also clap them at the end in appreciation.”

*

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.