GRANT McCANN says that he and his coaching staff must learn lessons from deflating midweek cup losses for Doncaster Rovers – and not just his players.
Rovers’ Achilles heel of frustrating Keepmoat form over the years has flared again, with the club extending their run without a home win in all competitions to four matches following Tuesday’s 3-1 Checkatrade Trophy loss to Newcastle United Under-21s.
The competition may rank below the league in McCann’s list of priorities, but his dismay was there for all to see after a strong side mostly comprising players who performed admirably in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at League One leaders Peterborough United flattered to deceive on Tuesday.
The loss extended Rovers’ run without a win in all competitions to six matches on a night when Tommy Rowe and Mitchell Lund came off injured in the first half.
But it was Rovers’ passive showing which lacked intensity, in his words, which troubled him the most.
Rovers chief McCann, whose comments followed another broadside after the previous week’s EFL Cup home exit to Blackpool, a performance which he labelled as boring, said: “That is two cup games in which we have been disappointing.
“We can all learn; myself, Cliff (Bryne) and the coaching staff need to learn to be better as well.
“But this is why we are here. We want to learn about people and the group. There are lots of factors we will take which will only make us better for the future.
“I was definitely angry at half-time and we possibly could have come in two or three-nil down. It was a hard watch. Some of us played our own game.
“It is frustrating that every time we make a few changes, the team does not deliver.
“It is not just from the lads who have come in, but the boys who have been in the team as well.”
A Wembley winner of the Football League Trophy at Peterborough and a two-time finalist in his playing days, McCann admits that Tuesday was a major opportunity lost at the start of Group G qualification.
“The league is the priority. But this is a competition you can get right into the heart of,” the Northern Irishman observed.
“I have won it as a player and was in the quarter-final last year against Lincoln and I was disappointed we got knocked out.”
This is why we are here. We want to learn about people and the group. There are lots of factors we will take which will only make us better for the future.Doncaster boss Grant McCann