06 November 2021

Richie Wellens demands more from Doncaster despite seeing off Scunthorpe

06 November 2021

Richie Wellens was pleased to see Doncaster book their place in the second round of the FA Cup at the expense of Scunthorpe but was frustrated his side made hard work of getting past League Two’s bottom club.

Though the visitors carved out the better chances, it was Ryan Loft’s own goal seven minutes before half-time that settled a contest possessing plenty of energy, but lacking quality.

“We made hard work of a game which we should have been winning by five or six,” Wellens said of the 1-0 victory. “When we played our game, it was really comfortable for us.

“We backed Scunthorpe up so they couldn’t get out and our front players smothered areas.

“My back four and my two midfield players should have had a really comfortable afternoon, but because we didn’t kill them off we made harder work of it than we needed to.

“I was never worried, but then you get a situation like at the end when the ball flies around the box and they could have got an equaliser from a game that should have been taken away from them.

“I thought the work rate of the front three was okay, but you need them to take their chances and show a bit more composure – they’re the ones that earn the bigger money.”

Scunthorpe keeper Rory Watson had denied Joe Dodoo from close range in the only real effort of note before Rovers broke the deadlock in the 38th minute.

Loft had been trying to volley clear from a corner swung over to the back post but, under pressure from Tommy Rowe, he succeeded only in firing into the top corner.

Doncaster largely coasted through the second period, although substitute Aaron Jarvis almost snatched an equaliser in stoppage time for an Iron team playing for the first time under Keith Hill.

“There was plenty of energy and plenty of enthusiasm, but we need to relax in possession and improve on a daily basis,” said former Rochdale and Bolton boss Hill, who was appointed by Scunthorpe on Friday.

“If we improve on the basics and stick together collectively, we can use the energy that the young players have got, embrace it and take it into games.

“We’re looking for intelligent energy, and with that comes experience and knowledge.

“I was really pleased with the effort that we maintained. We never gave in and we had opportunities where we could have equalised.

“It was a game of narrow margins – as most of them are. The effort and commitment of the players and their desire to listen is great. We have to be quick learners on the training pitch and then we can embrace the way I want to play.

“I’m openly aware of the demands for this club to maintain League Two status. We’ve got to do that, and then we can grow.”

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