Doncaster Rovers’ Tommy Rowe knows he needs to lead by example
At 33 and in the absence of captain Tom Anderson, Rowe was by far the most experienced player in a Rovers side which included three players – Liam Ravenhill, Ben Blythe and Lirak Hasani – with three league starts between them and others without much more experience to call on during Monday’s League One game against Sunderland.
To compound that, they had a caretaker manager, Gary McSheffrey, and an assistant, Frank Sinclair, who had never managed a senior team until they took over from Richie Wellens at the start of the month. A decision on the next permanent manager is imminent.
The inexperience showed in a 3-0 defeat which was even more comprehensive than the scoreline suggested.
With tonight’s scheduled game at Cambridge United postponed, Rowe has told his young team-mates not to dwell on it as he once would have.
“I emphasised it to them because I would not be able to do that as a young player but football’s moved on a lot since then,” he said. “We have coaches who have been through a lot more and they understand how to communicate to lads.
“Before, you had to dwell on it, and it didn’t ever do me any good. To spend the evening thinking about how I didn’t do very well wasn’t very fulfilling for my recovery because it meant my mind wasn’t switched on to something else.
“In past teams I had lads who scream and shout and sometimes it works but the game’s moved on and you’ve got to react to what is new. Some of these young players need a different direction and you’ve got to talk more.
“We lost 3-0 on Monday but there were still a lot of positives from the young players who came out and really tried to give a good account of themselves.
“But the lads will get more out of me and the other lads when we focus on ourselves.
“Being a leader is not just talking, it’s leading by example and if I perform the right way, that might give them the encouragement to perform the right way and hopefully I can drag some players along with me.”