DONCASTER ROVERS will have to make do without their on-pitch leader and midfield talisman Richie Wellens for the next two matches, but manager Paul Dickov feels others can step up to the plate.
Rovers’ mini-revival of a fourth game without defeat, the 0-0 draw with Middlesbrough, came at a price with Wellens picking up his 10th booking of the campaign, which triggered a two-match automatic ban.
As well as sitting out today’s trip to Brighton, he also misses next weekend’s South Yorkshire derby with Barnsley.
But Scot Dickov is remaining philosophical. He said: “He will be a miss, we know that, but there was no way Richie was going to go through the rest of the season without picking up his 10th booking after picking up nine up to the end of January. So we knew that was going to come and the players did and we’ve got to accommodate for it.
“It will lose a bit of momentum away from us and we wanted to keep as many players who have played in the last four games as we can.
“It’s no secret that a lot of our play going forward was from Richie.
“But we have other players in the team who can take that responsibility such as James Coppinger and Mark Duffy, who have been outstanding recently.
“They are two players who can supply the ammunition for Browny (Chris Brown) and Sharpy (Billy Sharp) and score one or two goals as well.”
Rovers head into today’s game boasting much-improved defensive statistics, having conceded just one goal in their past four games.
Much of that has been down to the experience of Abdoulaye Meite and Gabriel Tamas, who have come in at the expense of the likes of teenagers Luke McCullough and Liam Wakefield.
Dickov says: “Luke’s been fantastic. I have sat him down and spoke to him. He was outstanding when he came in and sometimes with young players, when they have that run of games they need to be given a rest and taken out of the firing line.
“But I have told Luke he has a big future at the club and he understands why we had to bring the experienced lads in.”