Doncaster Rovers boss Grant McCann will be pumped up to beat Barnsley, says former team-mate Dale Tonge

ASSISTANT head coach Dale Tonge admits that Doncaster Rovers manager Grant McCann will be pumped up for his side to beat Barnsley for several reasons in tomorrow night's derby at Keepmoat Stadium.

Grant McCann and Daniel Stendel
Grant McCann and Daniel Stendel

Tonge is a former team-mate of McCann during their playing days at Oakwell and says that the ex-Northern Ireland international has considerable motivation to turn over his old side.

McCann was interviewed for the Barnsley job in the summer before heading to Doncaster, with his sixth-placed Rovers side also seeking a catalyst after a five-match winless streak in League One, with the play-off place in jeopardy.

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Tonge said: "I have played with Macca. He's honest, hard-working and a great character. As a player, he was quite demanding of other players.

Grant McCann and Daniel Stendel

"He will want to beat us, not just because he is Doncaster manager, but because he played here.

"Obviously, there was certain speculation in the summer and I have no doubt he will want to beat us for several different reasons."

Tonge has confirmed that the Reds have a couple of 'serious' selection issues ahead of the trip to Rovers following the midweek draw with Sunderland.

The unnamed players will be assessed before tomorrow's game, with the visitors already without the suspended duo of Jacob Brown and Cameron McGeehan and Kieffer Moore.

Tonge added: "We have a few concerns after Tuesday night, it is a case of monitoring the boys today (Thursday).

"We will wrap a few up in cotton wool and hopefully they will be fine for Friday.

"Of the three or four from Tuesday night, a couple are serious for tomorrow night and with a couple, we think they will be fine. It is a case of just looking after them today."

Meanwhile, Tonge says that the Reds will not be pressing for a potential postponement for the trip to Walsall on Saturday week, with the club having so far seen Adam Davies and Ryan Hedges called up on international duty with the Wales senior squad - and Ben Williams on the provisional list for the under-21s.