'They could be eaten alive' - EFL pundit delivers worrying verdict on Doncaster Rovers following relegation to League Two

EFL pundit Ali Maxwell fears Doncaster Rovers could be ‘eaten alive’ in League Two.

By Paul Goodwin
Monday, 16th May 2022, 12:19 pm

Maxwell, a regular studio guest for Sky Sports and Quest TV, has admitted to feeling apprehensive about Rovers’ chances next season due to the inexperience of manager Gary McSheffrey and newly-appointed head of football operations James Coppinger.

The host of the popular Not The Top 20 podcast has questioned McSheffrey’s recent assertion that he has a good core of players and says he is ‘not feeling that positive’ about Rovers’ immediate future.

But he says McSheffrey and Coppinger could yet prove him wrong.

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Gary McSheffrey

McSheffrey has won seven out of 27 league games in charge which was not enough to prevent Rovers dropping into League Two for the second time in the space of six years.

Fans will be expecting the club to bounce straight back like they did under Darren Ferguson in 2017, or at least mount a concerted promotion push, but Maxwell is not feeling optimistic.

"It's been an horrific season for them, which follows an horrific second half of last season,” said Maxwell on the Not The Top 20 podcast. “It's now 18 months of proper decline and poor performance for Doncaster in League One.

"They head into League Two with a lot of question marks I would suggest.

"McSheffrey has made the point he thinks they have got a good core of talented players. I'm not sure I necessarily see it that way but of course the narrative around the players can change so quickly when they start playing for a team that is winning games compared to a team that is losing games.

"They have McSheffrey in the dugout and they have James Coppinger, club legend, leading things as head of football operations.

"I must admit it scares me a little just because that's not a lot of experience, almost no experience in fact which makes me think that the worst case scenario for Doncaster is they could be eaten alive.

"They could be eaten alive this summer in the transfer market in terms of squad building or they could get eaten alive a little bit in League Two against some teams who might be more ready for the level.

"Of course the upside is that we don't know. They could be excellent operators as well. They could equally put together a great squad, play a great style of play and attack the league. But I'm not feeling that positive about it.”