'Too many players didn't turn up' - Doncaster Rovers U18s boss disappointed with FA Youth Cup exit
Doncaster Rovers’ U18s agonisingly exited the FA Youth Cup at home to Rotherham United with a goal in extra time sending the visitors through to the third round of the competition.
And U18s boss Gary McSheffrey believes too many players did not turn up for the occasion.
“We are all disappointed with the result. But in football you have to be able to deal with the pressure,” he said.
“After the week some of these lads have had making first team appearances, beating category one side Leicester City, they’ve come to the Keepmoat and looked like they’ve lost five on the spin.
“A few of the lads need to be able to deal with that pressure.
“Too many players did not turn up. Only two or three were their regular committed selves.”
Rovers took the lead through Owen Scattergood in the dying minutes of the first half.
Jack Goodman had a chance to put Rovers two up from the penalty spot on the 84th minute, but a good save from Alfie Burnett kept the Millers in the tie. Rotherham equalised in the 92nd minute, which sent the game into extra time.
Northern Irishman Ciaran McGuckin put Rotherham in front for the first time in the game midway through extra time, which deflated the young and tiring Rovers side.
“We were seconds away from getting a 1-0 win. We had some big chances to finish the game with a 1v1 and a penalty,” McSheffrey added.
“I’m disappointed we didn’t take the opportunities to make the lead bigger.
“Jack’s gutted. He’s done well this season and there are positives from his game. He’s won the penalty and wanted to take it.
“I fancied him to take it. The goalie read him well and made a good save.”
Rovers U18s return to league action vs Grimsby Town away from home on Saturday November 27, and McSheffrey is looking for a reaction.
“I’ve told them to be disappointed on the night. They all have different goals and ambitions between now the end of the season,” he stated.
“They can’t let this dictate how their seasons going to go. It’s a setback in their young career and it’s all about how they handle it and how they bounce back.”