Doncaster Rovers v Lincoln City – Richie Wellens looks to stay in touch with League One rivals ahead of January reinforcements

Richie Wellens has challenged his Doncaster Rovers side to “stay in the pack” ahead of what is expected to be a busy January transfer window for the club.

Rovers have found themselves caught in a relegation battle as poor away form coupled with a significant injury crisis has left them second-from-bottom in League One ahead of today’s meeting with Lincoln City.

Wellens was out on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday night looking at potential transfer targets and insists any player signed in January will have been scouted thoroughly.

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No deals can be done – bar ones involving free agents – until January 1 and Wellens has tasked his side to stay in touch with the sides above them until the window opens.

John Bostock is in line to return for Doncaster Rovers against Lincoln City Picture: Bruce Rollinson

“We will improve massively in January with the bodies we will get in and the return of injuries,” said Wellens.

“We need to stay in the pack, dig in and fight.

“We want to be outside the relegation zone but we need to be in and around the eight teams above which is almost a separate league table for us.

“We are not cut adrift and we should have had a lot more points.

CONFIDENT: Doncaster Rovers manager Richie Wellens Picture: Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

“We know that set-plays are an issue for us, we need to be better at that.”

He continued: “I have been out Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday looking at players.

“The players we sign in January I will have had eyes on them five, six, seven times. We are not just taking punts.

“There are certain players we need to move on to free up funds. We are hoping as well that we can have an FA Cup run.”

Rovers have only lost one of their last six league games at the Keepmoat and Wellens expects them to keep that form up this afternoon.

He said: “We have got a good home game and we need to continue that development at home. We need to try a few different things away from home but we haven’t had the personnel recently to try and do it.

“We need to be more defensively sound and not as open away from home.”

Team news: Ro-Shaun Williams (ankle) will be out for Doncaster. Ben Close has failed to beat a hamstring issue in time to feature, but Joseph Olowu and John Bostock are ready to return. Adam Jackson (head) could be fit again, while Joe Walsh (thigh), having suffered a fresh quad injury straight after a previous leg concern. Liam Bridcutt will be another doubt due to battling a knee problem.

Last six games: Doncaster Rovers WWDLDW; Lincoln City WDWDLW. Referee: R Lewis (Shropshire). Last time: Lincoln City 0 Doncaster Rovers 1; January 30, 2021; League One