Richie Wellens juggling the numbers ahead of Doncaster Rovers' trip to Wakefield

Richie Wellens joked that he may need to field himself and coax James Coppinger out of retirement in order for Doncaster Rovers to have enough bodies to face Wakefield AFC tonight.

Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 7:14 am

The club’s brush with a single case of Covid-19 continues to impact the squad, with more than half a dozen senior players continuing to isolate until Thursday.

It leaves Wellens in a similar situation to the one he faced heading to Bradford City at the weekend, when he used 11 trialists in order to have adequate numbers.

“If things carry on the way they are, myself, Noel Hunt and James Coppinger might get our boots on and join in,” he told the Free Press.

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James Coppinger and Richie Wellens oversee training

“It is what it is. It’s not ideal.

“But I honestly believe clubs up and down the country are going to have flare ups.

“I hope we’ve had ours.”

New signing Tiago Cukur could make his first appearance in Rovers colours in the game at the Millennium Stadium.

Wellens was disappointed with the performance of many of the trialists who featured at Valley Parade and said he would be looking to invite fresh faces to play at Wakefield if possible, while also giving some of the club’s younger players more time on the pitch.

“What I don’t want to do is waste these lads’ time so we might have to get another batch of trialists in,” he said.

“Liam Ravenhill and Lirak Hasani will play a significant part on Tuesday because I think they deserve a chance. AJ Greaves deserves a chance to play more minutes.

“We’ve tried our best to get trialists of the standard we think can take us forward but at the moment it would be a no for the majority for them.”

Ambitious Wakefield are managed by ex-Rovers full back Adam Lockwood and Wellens says he is looking forward to seeing his former team mate.

The newly-formed club are beginning life in the Sheffield and Hallamshire County Senior League but have aspirations to reach the EFL by 2033.

Wakefield were set up in 2019 by a group of businessmen including former Sheffield Wednesday manager Chris Turner, with the goal of changing the city’s status of being the country’s largest without a professional football club.


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.