DONCASTER ROVERS are facing a race against time to secure the services of influential captain Richie Wellens to enable him to feature in tomorrow’s FA Cup home tie with Stevenage.
Manager Paul Dickov held a meeting with club officials yesterday regarding player recruitment this month, with the contractual issue regarding Wellens at the top of the agenda.
The midfield playmaker, 33, is effectively a free agent after his short-term deal expired following the New Year’s Day game at QPR and he is ineligible this weekend, as it stands.
Despite talks regarding a new contract and Wellens’s desire to stay, it is yet to be finalised, with two other Championship clubs rumoured to be interested.
Rovers’ No 2 Brian Horton said: “It’s come to the crux of it now and it’s left in the owners’ and Paul’s hands to see how far we can go.
“We’d like to keep Richie as he’s a good player. We are not just lumping balls to the front players and playing from them, we want to play through midfield and Richie is a key member of that as he’s a good footballer.
“Hopefully, we can do something so he does play.”
Striker Federico Macheda has returned to Premier League champions Manchester United, although Horton has hinted the club could make a third loan move for the Italian.
He said: “There will be talks between (United manager) David Moyes and Paul. Wednesday was the best he’s played; I thought he had a really good spell. He’s a very good young player and it’s something we might try to do again.”
Rovers are awaiting scan results after Theo Robinson injured his knee at Loftus Road, although Chris Brown is now back in the fray and defender Bongani Khumalo could also return tomorrow.
But Rovers’ injury list is still a lengthy one with Reece Wabara, Rob Jones, Jamie McCombe and Paul Keegan among a host of players still out.
Horton rued: “It can only got better, can’t it? To be fair, I have never known anything like it with so many senior players injured and the whole back four out at one particular time.
“It’s been hard to take, but you can’t make that an excuse.”