He may not see himself as a striker in the long term but Kieran Sadlier is determined to keep firing as Doncaster Rovers’ stand-in forward – and learn a few lessons from it too.
Maybe I can be a bit more aggressive and it’ll help me for the future.Kieran Sadlier
Sadlier has started both Rovers games so far as a lone striker with boss Darren Moore continuing his hunt for new additions in attack.
But Moore himself admitted Sadlier is giving him pause for thought after netting in both games, including an injury time equaliser in Saturday’s rain-drenched visit to Rochdale.
The 24-year-old expects to revert to his more typical role as an attacking midfielder in the near future but wants to have benefitted from his experience this season when he does.
“Two goals in two games is obviously good and I’ll definitely take that,” Sadlier said.
“I’ll look to score more goals next week and whenever I’m asked to play up front. I’ve just got to keep on doing what I’m doing.
“If a striker comes in soon, I’m not sure but I’ll just keep on doing what I’m asked to do by the manager and work on parts of my game as well.
“Maybe I can be a bit more aggressive and it’ll help me for the future.”
Despite Sadlier’s gallant efforts, Rovers continued to look short of out-and-out attacking options in a nip and tuck clash at Spotland.
Both sides demonstrated impressive build-up play with short, sharp passing. But both struggled for moments of genuine quality inside the opposition’s final third.
Rovers suffered a blow before the half hour when recent signing, centre half Alex Baptiste, was stretchered off with what appeared to be a serious ankle injury.
The game looked destined to meander to a goalless draw until Rochdale took a fortuitous lead on 66 minutes when Aaron Morley’s cross curled beyond everyone and bounced into the back of the net.
Rovers pushed hard without truly troubling Rochdale keeper Robert Sanchez.
However, in the second minute of added time Sadlier rose superbly to power a header from a corner taken by new signing Jon Taylor into the top corner and rescue a well-deserved point for Rovers.
Rochdale: Sanchez; Keohane, O’Connell, McNulty, Norrington-Davies; Williams, Morley (Done 71); Pyke (Andrew 79), Camps, Dooley; Henderson. Subs not used: Delaney, Magloire, Wade, Tavares, Matheson.
Doncaster Rovers: Lawlor; Halliday, Anderson, Baptiste (Blair 28), James; Sheaf, Whiteman; Gomes (Taylor 77), Coppinger (Ennis 70), May; Sadlier. Subs not used: Dieng, Crawford, Longbottom, Kiwomya.
Referee: Trevor Kettle (Rutland)