Doncaster Rovers face race against time to get new boss in ahead of January window

Doncaster Rovers stepped up their search for a new manager or head coach with the first interviews of a two-stage process they hope to conclude this week.

IN THE RUNNING: Gary McSheffrey pictured on the touchline against Mansfield Town as Doncaster Rovers' caretaker manager  Picture: Tony Johnson
IN THE RUNNING: Gary McSheffrey pictured on the touchline against Mansfield Town as Doncaster Rovers' caretaker manager Picture: Tony Johnson

Five candidates will be put through a first round before three are invited back for a second. The transfer window opens in the new year, with the relegation-threatened League One squad in need of surgery. Funds have been promised.

Caretaker manager Gary McSheffrey will be interviewed having been asked to apply by the board. The under-18s coach, who played as winger for Rovers between 2016 and 2017, lost his first two matches but won his third, against Shrewsbury Town, to lift the team off the bottom of the table. They are six points adrift of safety, albeit with a game in hand on the sides directly above.

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Rovers, who had around 130 to 140 applicants, say they are open-minded about whether Wellens’s successor should be a manager or a head coach working with a director of football. If they have to appoint the latter job as well, they will have to hit the ground running. With New Year’s Day a Saturday, the transfer window will open on January 3 until midnight on January 31.

GONE: Former Doncaster Rovers' boss Richie Wellens Picture: Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Wellens was forced to work with an extremely tight budget in his first summer in charge, but missing out on deadline-day targets – with Will Grigg, who instead joined Rotherham United on loan top of the list – has left money in the pot.

The club has agreed a new naming rights deal on their stadium and two pop concerts, increasing their spending power.

Wellens’s squad was very light on experience and leadership, as well as being hampered by terrible injury problems. That probably helps to explain why Rovers have taken just one point away from home this season, and have twice lost 6-0.