Richie Wellens explains switching players' positions for Doncaster Rovers' win over Cheltenham Town

Richie Wellens admitted his only hesitancy in moving Tommy Rowe out of the left back slot was over who would replace the Doncaster Rovers veteran.
Joseph Olowu played at left back during the win over Cheltenham TownJoseph Olowu played at left back during the win over Cheltenham Town
Joseph Olowu played at left back during the win over Cheltenham Town

Wellens pushed Rowe into midfield from the start of Saturday’s win over Cheltenham Town and selected Joseph Olowu to play out of position at left back.

The manager was confident Rowe - who was forced off with a back injury after only eight minutes - would have no issues returning to midfield.

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And he was full of praise for Olowu, on only his second start in senior football.

“I don’t think it was a big call to move [Rowe] into the midfield because he’s played there for this club and has been excellent,” Wellens said.

“We tried to get a system where we had forward runners and Tommy Rowe was a big part of that.

“The call is who do you then play at left back.

“But I thought Joe Olowu, although he’s a young player on his home debut, I thought at times he played really well.

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“He just has to learn that he cannot fight people. If he keeps the lad away from goal in the build-up to the first goal, if he shepherds him down the line and keeps him out there and doesn’t show him inside, then Tom Anderson doesn’t have to step out and he doesn’t get Alfie May in behind him as the runner.

“It’s a learning curve. We’re playing 21-year-olds that are in their second game.

“He did great but there’s learning processes that he needs to go through.”

As well as Olowu starting at left back, Wellens also opted to play Ethan Galbraith out of position at right back with Kyle Knoyle suspended and Charlie Seaman injured.

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“We had a call to make at right back and went with Ethan Galbraith,” Wellens said.

“I don’t know if Jordy Hiwula’s family picked the man of the match but if anyone is watching the football match and picks anyone other than Ethan Galbraith, they don’t know football.

“He was head and shoulders above everyone else. On the ball he was fantastic, he rotated in midfield and he set up the first goal which was something we’ve worked on.

“I thought he was outstanding.”


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