Siege mentality can help us stay up, says Doncaster Rovers boss Gary McSheffrey

Gary McSheffrey has urged his Doncaster Rovers squad to develop a siege mentality as they fight for League One survival.

By Paul Goodwin
Thursday, 24th February 2022, 6:00 am
Josh Martin celebrates his goal against Accrington with his teammates. Picture: Howard Roe/AHPIX LTD
Josh Martin celebrates his goal against Accrington with his teammates. Picture: Howard Roe/AHPIX LTD

A disastrous 12 months on the pitch seemed destined to end in relegation.

Rovers had been written off in many quarters. The fat lady had apparently already sung.

But McSheffrey wants that backdrop and their position in the table to galvanise his players – and they are refusing to lie down in the relegation dogfight.

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Battling midweek wins against Lincoln City and Accrington Stanley have cut the gap to safety to four points ahead of this weekend’s hugely significant game at AFC Wimbledon.

And McSheffrey agrees that Rovers could actually benefit from being the hunter rather than the hunted as the race for survival enters the final straight.

“It’s a different kind of pressure when you’re chasing,” he said.

“We’re trying to install a siege mentality into the lads.

“The others might get a bit nervous looking over their shoulder.

“If we keep doing the right things then we know we’ll give ourselves half a chance. We’re in a mini-league now and we’ve got several six-pointers coming up – starting this weekend.”

Victory at Plough Lane on Saturday could see Rovers move to within one point of safety.

“We go there and we’ll be organised, hard to beat, try and have a clean sheet mentality,” said McSheffrey.

“We feel that we’ve got players on the pitch that can nick a goal.”