Doncaster Rovers must up their conversion rate

For a side who have notched 30 goals across all competitions, Doncaster Rovers can hardly be accused of being goal-shy.

Doncaster Rovers manager Grant McCann.
Doncaster Rovers manager Grant McCann.

But despite being on the coat tails of the League One play-offs, the numbers do not appear to be adding up for them of late.

Their past two encounters, at home to Gillingham and Sunderland, respectively, have mustered a mammoth 49 efforts on goal.

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But delve a little deeper and just 20 of those were on target, with just three being converted into goals.

That conversion rate went some way to the team yielding a rather disappointing one point from six available.

Following the 1-0 reverse to the Mackems, Rovers’ chief Grant McCann was quick to demand more calmness in front of goal from his players.

He pointed to the example of two quickfire chances against Sunderland, with both Mallik Wilks and Matty Blair spurning them to open the scoring when put through on goal.

Those two misses were swiftly followed by Sunderland’s goal which was enough to move the Black Cats up to third – four points ahead of Rovers.

“If you look back, they don’t get them out of their feet quick enough,” said McCann.

“We need to realise that when we get into those areas, we can’t just shoot straight at the goalkeeper and expect it to go in.

“You have to have a trick in your locker when you go past the goalkeeper.

“You have to do something different when you get into those situations.”

Despite a poor return from back-to-back encounters on home soil, McCann takes heart from his team’s performances against the third tier’s high-fliers so far.

His side have already secured hard-earned points against the division’s top two, Portsmouth and Peterborough, this season.

“We matched the so-called biggest club in this league for the whole game,” said McCann, referring to the Sunderland game.

“I thought there were some really good individual performances.

“I’ve learned that we can compete with the likes of Sunderland and Portsmouth.

“The boys have to keep the belief and the desire that we can be as good as these teams, if not better.

“It’s okay saying it but we have to prove it.

“We’ve got a tricky run coming up so we have to get back on track and get ready.”