Richie Wellens eyes weaknesses for Doncaster Rovers to exploit against AFC Wimbledon

Richie Wellens is confident Doncaster Rovers can exploit vulnerabilities in AFC Wimbledon and get the new season off to a promising start.

By Liam Hoden
Friday, 6th August 2021, 11:00 am
AFC Wimbledon boss Mark Robinson giving instructions to his players last season
AFC Wimbledon boss Mark Robinson giving instructions to his players last season

Wellens travelled to watch Wimbledon’s friendly defeat to Scunthorpe United last weekend and was impressed by some of the attacking play on show.

But he spotted numerous areas where he feels Rovers can prosper when they welcome the Dons to the Keepmoat on Saturday.

“For 25 minutes they were very good and then Scunthorpe upped their game,” he said.

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“The kick-off was delayed by half an hour because Scunthorpe were late so I think Scunthorpe were still on the coach for the first 20 minutes.

“I think Wimbledon are a really good team in possession. They’ve got some clever wingers who come into pockets.

“But I think when they’re out of possession we can cause them plenty of problems.”

Wimbledon are hoping to avoid another relegation scrap in League One this season after securing survival in impressive fashion last term with four wins and three draws from their last eight games of the season.

Head coach Mark Robinson lost just six matches after taking charge of the side at the end of January and will be looking to carry such form into an even more competitive third tier this term.

He will do so without the services of striker Joe Pigott who has joined Ipswich Town after reaching the end of his contract at Plough Lane.

Pigott hit 20 goals last season in League One for Wimbledon and left the club with a haul of 47 goals in 137 matches.

The Dons have struggled for goals in pre-season but Robinson does not expect that will continue into competitive action.

“I believe the goals will come, I don’t think pre-season tells you anything in that respect,” he said.

“I’ve known teams not win a game in pre-season and they’ve had a great season and vice-versa. You can’t read anything into it.”

He was however disappointed with the lack of attacking threat shown in the Scunthorpe friendly.

“Most of the goals scored are in the penalty area, so if you’re not getting into that area, then you won’t score goals,” he said.

“We need to make sure as a collective that we’re really strong and we can’t give away cheap goals like we did today and like we’ve done throughout pre-season.

“It’s a bit of a wake-up call.”

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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.