Jon Taylor's Doncaster Rovers return can be steady thanks to team's good start, says Gary McSheffrey
Fortunately a good few weeks on and off the field make it easier for Gary McShreffrey to take it steady with his injury-blighted winger.
Taylor has made just 19 league starts since March 2021 and although he played 45 minutes in the Football League Trophy against Newcastle United Under-21s, that is unlikely to change at home to Mansfield Town on Saturday.
"He probably could have played longer (on Tuesday) but it was always the plan," said McSheffrey of the 30-year-old former Rotherham United player.
"It'll be bit by bit with Tayls and touch wood he'll have time to make an impact rather than chucking him in too early because we're desperate. It will be nice to integrate him and give him the minutes as and when."
Rovers are unbeaten back in League Two this season, and McSheffrey is happy with the extra depth they have added to the squad in the transfer window.
"If Tayls or anyone comes in (after injury) they're not under pressure to come in and hit the ground running and make an instant improvement," he said. "It's about coming into a settled squad, a decent team with some good pros about them.
"I feel quite lucky that we've got a lot more strength in depth than last season and once a few players are back in a few weeks, we'll be fine."
Tommy Rowe is in line to make his 200th appearance and such is his versatility, it could come in just about any position.
"He's been a good servant to the club and to chalk up 200 in four-and-a-bit seasons is remarkable," said McSheffrey of the talismanic 33-year-old.
"When Tommy Rowe's on the team-sheet some clubs are not going to know where he's playing because he is so adaptable.
"Sometimes when you need to roll your sleeves up and go to a place where the opposition are going to be physical, he's great in there.”
Nigel Clough’s Stags will offer that and more."They're hard working, well organised with physicality so they're not a team we can take lightly. I think they'll be our toughest test yet,” commented McSheffrey."They've got a really experienced manager who said something needs to change away from home so we don't know what they'll come with (in terms of formation) but what we do know they'll come with is a real work ethic to run their socks off for their fans and their manager so we're going to have to be really at it.”
Forward Aidy Barlow is back in training, but is another who will not be rushed, and is therefore not expected to feature on Saturday.