Darren Moore on absence of Doncaster Rovers captain Ben Whiteman

DONCASTER ROVERS manager Darren Moore has reiterated that the club will not cash in on star asset Ben Whiteman unless their valuation is met by a rival side.

Doncaster Rovers manager Darren Moore. Picture: Marie Caley.

The Rovers captain sat out Saturday's 3-2 Carabao Cup loss at Blackburn Rovers as a precaution, with the midfielder suffering from a slight injury 'niggle.'

Whiteman, who has been the subject of failed bids from Rovers' South Yorkshire rivals Barnsley and has other interest from Championship clubs, including Blackburn, was present at Ewood Park for the game.

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Moore said: "He was here today, but I could not take the risk. Hopefully he will get back in with us next week and kick on again.

"There is interest in him, but he is still contacted to us. We admire him a lot. We value him a lot and he is with us and has a valuation on his head and if that valuation is not met, then he carries on as normal.

"Credit to him, he understands it and we keep working."

Rovers were edged out in an entertaining encounter in Lancashire in their first competitive outing for 175 days since March 7.

After trailing to a fine first-half opener from Lewis Holtby, Doncaster produced a much improved second period to turn the tables and lead 2-1, thanks to a penalty from Fejiri Okenabirihie and a first goal for the club for Madger Gomes.

But Blackburn produced a strong response in the last twenty minutes as Doncaster tired with a maiden goal for the club from Joe Rankin-Costello levelling before Adam Armstrong grabbed the winner from the spot nine minutes from time after Halliday fouled Amari'i Bell.

Moore said: "I said to the boys: 'Listen, make no mistake, I am disappointed to lose the game, but if ever you are going to lose a game', then it is certainly the right way.

"I put that result down to simply where we are at this current stage. Credit to the boys for the shift they put in.

"We wanted to put in a display today in terms of where we are at. They have done tremendous work and there is more work to go. Each and every single day, we try and work to the maximum to try and get as much as we possibly can each and every day as we build into the start of the season.

"I thought it was a good game. In the end, we just ran out of legs in terms of where we are and we always knew in the last twenty minutes that it would be a really tough battle.

"I just thought if we could have held onto the lead for another five minutes or so (we could have won). But they got the goal and the wind in their sails a little bit and then obviously, get the penalty.

"But I have no complaints and I just think we lost the game as we are probably not where we should be at the moment."

Rovers