What Gary McSheffrey said about Doncaster Rovers trialist Lee Tomlin

Managing Lee Tomlin in the right way is key to unlocking his undoubted ability, says Gary McSheffrey.

Wednesday, 13th July 2022, 12:00 pm

The 33-year-old playmaker has been on trial with Doncaster Rovers during pre-season and impressed during a 60-minute run-out against Nuneaton Borough on Saturday.

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Tomlin’s talent has seen him feature in the Premier League and amass millions in transfer fees. The majority of his 400-odd appearances as a professional have also come in the Championship.

Lee Tomlin, or Trialist B, in action against Nuneaton Borough. Photo: Andrew Roe/AHPIX LTD.

But his conditioning has been a source of criticism and injuries have restricted him to 10 appearances in the last two seasons.

“I think everyone always questions his fitness, his weight, can he run? But Lee Tomlin can do things that other people can’t,” says McSheffrey.

"Whereas people say ‘he needs to be fitter, he needs to do more running’, he’s got the argument of saying ‘people need to do more practising on the ball’ because he does good things on the ball.

"It’s how you manage him, how you man-manage him, and how you try and keep him injury-free with tailoring a programme for someone like him.

"Some of the things he sees on the pitch, he’s got the wing mirrors out. He’s a really good player and he’s been doing that in training for a couple of weeks.”

A stellar 2019/20 campaign saw Tomlin, refreshed after dropping more than two stone, named Cardiff City’s player of the year award as the Bluebirds reached the Championship play-offs.

‘Mentally I was a machine,’ he said of that period earlier this year, having been open about the mental health problems he has faced prior to and since then.

How would McSheffrey see his role at Doncaster Rovers, should he win a deal?

"He’s not going to play 90 minutes every game for 50 games a season.

"It’s how he can affect the group, affect the team, and help win you games, whether that’s for 60 minutes or 30.

"He is a luxury-type player because he’s got that end product. He’s a good lad first and foremost and I think how you manage a Tomlin is how you get the best out of him.”