Cameron John doubt as Doncaster Rovers' Richie Wellens looks to strike a balance at Walsall

DOUBT: Doncaster Rovers' Cameron John (right) has a sore backDOUBT: Doncaster Rovers' Cameron John (right) has a sore back
DOUBT: Doncaster Rovers' Cameron John (right) has a sore back
Cameron John is "touch and go" with a back injury for Doncaster Rovers' trip to Walsall as manager Richie Wellens looks for continuity as he tries to build something lasting.

The former midfielder admits he does not have the players to play exactly as he would like in the League Cup first round tie, or the matches that immediately follow, so he will look to strike a balance between trying to push home the principles which were so notable by their absence in the opening-day defeat to Wimbledon and not being too negative with his players.

Rovers are in a difficult spell, one of a number of clubs to have had a Covid-disrupted pre-season, hampered by injuries and unable to bring in the depth and quality of squad to play the football Wellens has come to provide.

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Defender John apart he has no more injuries to contend with, but no players back either, although John Bostock at least got valuable minutes from the bench. Wellens is also pessimistic about being able to add to his squad this week.

"Cameron John's got a sore back, he'll be touch and go, John Bostock's got a few minutes under his belt so he's in the squad and will probably play," said the manager. "(Omar) Bogle we just need to be careful with his calf, but in terms of anyone being out of the squad, maybe Cameron John, otherwise it'll be the same squad.

"I think the biggest thing is to get the balance between trying to do what we want to do but not be too negative when it goes wrong, ie Saturday. Can we play the way I want us to play with what we've got? Probably not with the personnel we've got so we have to find a different way not only to keep the development of what we want, but also to get result for our own confidence as much as anything.

"The easiest thing for me would be to play three at the back - Cameron John is an experienced player and it gets two strikers up. That would probably be most experienced XI.

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"But I always believe messages from the top have to be consistent, otherwise we'll lose them. It's just going to take time."

Wellens is pessimistic about being able to add to his squad before Saturday's South Yorkshire derby at home to Darren Moore's Sheffield Wednesday.

"The squad size is too small," he insisted. "Our options to play in the font three aren't great.

"Charlie Seaman did a god job but he's a right-back. We don't want to be paying right-backs on the right wing, we just thought him with his athletcisim and pace could cause a problem and Aidy Barlow was brought in to grow and develop, not go in playing 90 minutes every single week as a proven player at this level.

"I'd say unless clubs lower their asking prices in terms of the contribution to the wages then it'll be none. If that changes, there might be one (loan signing)."