John Schofield was pleased with his Development side’s performance, despite a late defeat at home to Port Vale on Tuesday.
James Morris’ goal on the stroke of half-time saw Rovers go into the break ahead, before Anton Forrester levelled for Vale on the hour.
Rovers battled well in the second half, matching their more experienced opposition throughout the game, but a swift Vale counter-attack through Forrester saw him slide the ball across to James Steele.
Steele slotted home deep into injury time to snatch the win and leave Rovers with nothing to show for their efforts, and Schofield felt that his side deserved more out of the game.
“It’s disappointing because we haven’t capitalised on the good periods of possession that we had and unfortunately at the end we’ve conceded,” he said.
“These games are a platform for these players, the manager is here watching, and it gives the players a chance to grasp the nettle and showing what they are about, and we have to be positive about that.
“It’s all a new learning experience for these young lads and if they continue to work hard then the reward is there where they could play in games like the Checkatrade Trophy and that’s been shown already this season.”
Tuesday’s game also saw Alex Kiwomya make his first appearance in a Rovers’ shirt, with the forward playing 45 minutes against Port Vale, with Luke McCullough also playing over an hour in the defeat.
The use of the development squad this season has seen a blend of both the younger players and the first-team squad involved, with other first-team members staying behind after training to watch the games, and this is something that Schofield believes will help his young team.
“I’ve said to the lads before you have to embrace playing with these players because you can learn so much, and Alex brought a lot to the table in the first half, and hopefully he can do that in the first-team soon enough,” Schofield said.
“These games help the likes of Alex and Luke to get the minutes in after injury, but my players can learn a lot from playing with the first-team players, and they also have Darren Ferguson coming the length and breadth of the country to come and support us.
“The younger players see the amount of interest that these games generate from the members of the first-team squad, it’ll only boost the confidence of the young lads and push them on to work even harder.”
Rovers are back in action at the Keepmoat Stadium on Saturday when they host Bristol Rovers - secure your spot now by calling 01302 762576 or going to tickets.clubdoncaster.co.uk.