Doncaster Rovers players need time to adapt under boss Richie Wellens

A youthful squad increases the importance of Doncaster Rovers’ senior men but manager Richie Wellens points out they too are having to adapt to new circumstances this season.

Wellens has completely revamped Rovers’ squad for 2021-22.

A group already light on experience has lost the likes of James Coppinger, Andy Butler, Reece James and Joe Wright, so for the start of Jon Taylor’s season to have been delayed by injury has been another blow.

The expected arrival of a loan midfielder will add much-needed depth to an injury-hit squad but is unlikely to do much to address the shortage of experience. Aidy Barlow and Tiago Cukur both made their senior debuts this week, and most of the players are nearer the start of their professional careers than the end.

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Richie Wellens.Richie Wellens.
Richie Wellens.

It has heaped pressure on the few remaining players with significant football under their belt, but manager Wellens has pointed out they have their own issues to get to grips with.

“It’s not just them helping the players, it’s them understanding a different system,” he stressed.

“When Sean O’Driscoll signed me (for Doncaster Rovers) in League One, I think after six or seven games we were near the bottom of the league because it took time.

“We played away at Hartlepool, I remember, and we were shocking – awful. We were looking at each other, thinking, ‘Are we doing the right thing?’

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“You’re always second-guessing are we pleasing the manger and doing what he wants? That takes time.

“We had a lot more experience then. It probably took us to beat Swansea away before the tide started to turn and we got our identity across.

“Those experienced players are going to be vital in helping the young lads but they’re adapting as well.”

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