Gary McSheffrey says Sheffield Wednesday's fitness and quality told after Doncaster Rovers' sliding door miss

Gary McSheffrey felt fitness and Premier League quality told when Doncaster Rovers failed to help themselves at home to Sheffield Wednesday.

Rovers were leading through Dan Gardner's first-half penalty when Ro-Shaun WIlliams' cross presented fellow centre-back Joe Olowu with an excellent chance he put wide from yards out.

Read More

Read More
Darren Moore has last laugh as Sheffield Wednesday substitutes finish off sorry ...

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Let off the hook, the Owls responded with three goals from former Premier League players Callum Paterson, Saido Berahino and Barry Bannan, who missed a harshly-awarded penalty.

CONFRONTATION: Gary McSheffrey was abused by a Doncaster Rovers fan in the second half

McSheffrey felt that miss was the undoing of his side.

"For 70 minutes or so it was for me a roll-your-sleeves up performance," he said.

"We absorbed a lot of pressure from a good team who move the ball well and there was a period where it felt like we were defending quite well and dealing with whatever they were chucking at us, then just a period where the goals were avoidable.

"We had a massive chance at 1-0 to make it two and I think if we score that's game over, we see out the game.

"You could feel the swing in momentum, that got them buzzing a little bit and they applied a bit more pressure and got a bit of a second wind in their running, they looked like they were at it.

"Once they got the (equalising) goal it gives them that momentum and adrenaline. From our point of view the goals were avoidable but I think we just ran out of steam and when you do that you probably get tired minds that don't make good decisions."

Once substitute Paterson equalised, rising to meet Marvin Johnson's cross and putting it in at the second attempt, McSheffrey felt his team was no longer able to compete.

"The fitness levels shone through a little bit at the end, the last 20 (minutes), them running past our players," he reflected. "The fitness levels they showed were really high and they were quality goals from three players who have played at the top level for a reason.

"To have a selection like that with the injuries they've got at the club, they've got good options.

"I thought the subs, along with Bannan and Johnson, really stepped up. I think they were the match-winners for them.

"There isn't a solution. Reo Griffiths has had five starts and a half-hour in two-and-a-half weeks from not really kicking a ball in a game in France since November.

"Dan Gardner's know had three or four games and a half game after being injured for a while, Ro-Shaun as well, a couple of 90 minutes on the spin.

"They've got to keep grinding through it but the lads will get fitter and fitter. They're in a period now where they're gaining match fitness."

McSheffrey was confronted by an angry home fan during the game.

"I just said we're trying our best, we're not purposely losing at home," he said. "I wouldn't come to his work and abuse him publicly so don't think you can come here and do it to me without me responding.

"I'll have a conversation about it, no problem, but don't just aim silly comments at me. When you put things into perspective, we've lost the game to three ex-Premier League players that are probably on mountains of money per week in League One.

"Maybe I shouldn't get involved.

"I've not got a problem speaking to a fan who's got a bee in his bonnet but at least have a valid opinion.

"Of course I can understand the frustration but I've stepped out ofmy comfort zone to be in this position."

The defeat keeps Doncaster one from bottom of League One, six points from safety.