Richie Wellens hints at change of approach for Doncaster Rovers' clash with Portsmouth

Richie Wellens has hinted he may be softening on his stance over a switch to a 3-5-2 system in a bid to change the fortunes of Doncaster Rovers.

Saturday, 21st August 2021, 6:00 am
Cameron John has impressed in his recent outings for Doncaster Rovers

Wellens opted to deploy the formation in the second half of Tuesday’s defeat at Accrington Stanley and saw his side show greater attacking threat.

While he admits the system allows him to field his most experienced starting XI by bringing in the likes of Cameron John and Omar Bogle, he has been determined to persist with his plan to get his players up to speed in his favoured way of playing.

But after three consecutive defeats and a lack of threat in front of goal, he has suggested he may be ready to make a change - even as early as today’s clash with Portsmouth.

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“We want to get plan A right,” Wellens told the Free Press.

“People always say what about plan B and plan C? I want to get plan A, plan A, plan A and have as many versions of plan A as possible.

“At the minute, my hands are tied with plan A so we do need other options.

“Going into that three at the back is an option that we can use going forward.

“With the personnel we’ve got, it may be what we have to do.

“Every time I look at Cameron John, he comes in and does a good job.

“Nothing is a shock to Cam because he’s a proven player at League One. At the moment we’re playing forwards who it’s a bit of a shock too at the moment.

“Can we get our most experienced players on the pitch? It’s something we’ve got to look at.”

Wellens’ aim is to get Rovers firing in front of goal, with the determination of maintaining the positive progress in other areas of the pitch.

He said: “It’s the most difficult part of the pitch to get right. It’s the one that wins you games.

“This is the only team I’ve managed that’s struggled to score goals.

“I’ve managed teams where we could go 1-0 down after three minutes and it’s no problem. Nothing changes, the mentality of the players doesn’t change because we know we’ve got goals in the team.

“You put yourself in those players’ shoes on Tuesday and they’re 1-0 down after three minutes, what is their first thought? Where is a goal coming from?

“We’re all a bit like that.

“We’re going to change a few things to try and get some goals into the team, with the same personnel, and be positive about things.

“The crowd are going to be so vital for us. We need more energy, we need to give themselves something to shout about, because the’re going to be massive for us. They’ll give us confidence.”


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.