Charlton Athletic v Doncaster Rovers: Visitors out to end poor run away from home

Having recorded only their third win of the League One campaign, and against Sunderland to boot, Doncaster Rovers are playing Charlton Athletic at a bad time. But as Richie Wellens points out, the Addicks are playing Rovers at a bad time too.

There is a big caveat, in that so far this season any time is a good time to play Doncaster away from the Keepmoat Stadium, the only team in the English leagues yet to pick up a point on their travels.

Injuries continue to hamper them, but the hope is the confidence built in recent home wins over Morecambe, Manchester City Under-21s, Milton Keynes Dons and Cheltenham Town can be transferred and make for a happy Valley.

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“Psychologically we’re in a better place,” stresses Wellens. “We look a team, we look really fluent so it works both ways.

MANAGER: Richie Wellens manager of Doncaster Rovers. Picture: Getty Images.

“Our home form (four wins in the last five) is probably play-off form but we do need to tidy things up away.

“There have been external factors which have been huge contributing to that in the team selection and the tough games we’ve had. Now we look a more fluent team, round pegs in round holes, and there’s a lot of god performances and players playing with a high level of confidence.”

This week’s external factors are a small hamstring tear for Ben Close, Dan Gardner’s calf problem and an injection in Jon Taylor’s ankle. Charlie Seaman, Cameron John and Fejiri Okenabirhie are also out but Tommy Rowe being rated 50-50 is at least an improvement after his back spasms.

One of the hardest things for Wellens will be second-guessing a side under caretaker management for only the second time.

SIDELINED: Dan Gardner. Picture: Getty Images.

“We’re surprised where they are (22nd in the table) because they’ve got a lot of quality players and Nigel Adkins was a very good manager who was highly successful at this level so you have to scratch your head on why it’s not worked,” says Wellens.

“I’ve only watched one of their games because I don’t think Nigel’s games are relevant, Johnnie Jackson changed the shape.

Sunderland could have definitely won (last week’s) game, they had a lot of chances, but Charlton were very good on the counter-attack so we can’t give the ball away in bad areas. They’ve had a big boost in confidence but our confidence is rising as well.”