Doncaster Rovers: ‘It’s up to me to fight and scrap to lead the way’, says Richie Wellens

Richie Wellens concedes he may have to get better at reining in his emotions after defeat but one thing the Doncaster Rovers manager will not do is stop fighting, he insists.

Wellens suffered a bruising 6-0 defeat on Tuesday at former club Ipswich Town. Afterwards he questioned his future, saying he told his players: “If you want me to go, then I will go.”

Now Wellens says he will learn from it as he prepares for tomorrow’s League One visit of Milton Keynes Dons.

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“I always wear my heart on my sleeve,” said Wellens. “Maybe in the heat of the moment after a game I need to get better. I’ll learn from that.

Richie Wellens. Picture: Steven Paston/PA Wire.

“It shows you care, it shows you hurt. The performance of the team I said wasn’t acceptable and that hurts me but I also have to recognise where we are and what our aims are this year.

“I’m asking my players who are just starting out as a team to fight and scrap so it’s up to me to fight and scrap to lead the way.”

Rovers are bottom of League One nine matches into a season disrupted by injuries, following a pre-season where 10 days were lost to Covid-19. Joe Olowu will miss tomorrow’s game with concussion and Tom Anderson is a doubt with it. Both passed tests during and after the game, but there are doubts about whether Anderson will be cleared.

Asked about Rovers’ goals for the season, Wellens said: “Did I come here to this football club to win promotion this season? That would be a hell of a tough job. I knew what the plan was in two years’ time. I have to accept it’s going to hurt to get to that point.

“We’ve only had three home games in the league and we’ve got a couple coming up now and we need the supporters on our side.”

Next week’s trip to Crewe Alexandra has been postponed because of international call-ups to Tiago Cukur, Ethan Galbraith and Pontus Dahlberg.