Why on-loan West Ham United striker Mipo Odubeko has been granted leave of absence from Doncaster Rovers

Misfiring striker Mipo Odubeko has been granted an extended period of time away from Doncaster Rovers.

By Paul Goodwin
Monday, 21st March 2022, 11:12 am

The 19-year-old, on loan from West Ham United, was dropped from the matchday squad for Rovers’ goalless draw at Fleetwood Town following his ineffective performance in the home defeat to Gillingham.

Odubeko will miss Rovers’ next game against Charlton Athletic on Saturday after being called up to Republic of Ireland’s under-21s squad for the first time for their European Championship qualifier in Sweden on March 29.

He will not report for training at Cantley Park this week and McSheffrey hopes the break will help the teenager reset mentally for the relegation run-in.

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Mipo Odubeko

“He’s going to Ireland Under 21s,” said McSheffrey, in his post-match interview. “We felt that he needed a little bit of a change of scenery.

“His confidence levels seemed to have dropped a bit and I thought it was a good opportunity for him to have a freshen up and a change of scenery for the week.

“Go away with Ireland and try and find a little bit of confidence because he was struggling with that.

“We had a chat in the week and you could see it in his body language in training that he wasn’t himself.

“For the sake of the team and the group we made a decision not to involve him today.”

He added: “Ultimately you need strikers on the pitch that are going to have an impact. Last week I don’t think he had any impact.

“We had a chat about that, and that’s as honest and ruthless as it is in our predicament.

“He took it on board and I think the change of scenery and getting away for a week will do him good.

“We’ll see him in nine or ten days time and hopefully he’s had a bit of a refreshed look on things.”

Odubeko has failed to score in 11 appearances for Rovers since joining the club in January.

"His best performance was his debut against Plymouth,” said McSheffrey. “He had three good chances and he should’ve scored a hat trick and he knows that.

“That’s the confidence levels. If a couple of them go in it’s probably a different loan period.

“His best half hour was when he came on against Accrington. He ran them ragged. He pressed, he spun, he turned them, he stopped forward passes and forced errors.

“It’s not rocket science. If you’re having a bit of a hard time, it’s not just going to happen for you. You have to work through it and work hard.

“I just feel that we weren’t getting them work levels from strikers that we need.”

Rovers, who remain four points from safety, have failed to score in their last three games against Cheltenham Town, Gillingham and Fleetwood.

They are the lowest scorers in League One with just 28 goals from 39 games.