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McCann impressed by Ben Khemis performance

5 September 2018

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Grant McCann says midfielder Issam Ben Khemis was one of the stand out players from Tuesday night’s Checkatrade Trophy defeat to Newcastle United U21s.

Rovers lost 3-1 on the night in the opening game of Group G at the Keepmoat Stadium, and McCann was keen to see what some of the younger players in the squad had to offer.

“Ben Khemis played really well in the first-half, he was a little bit safe for me in the second, and he knows that, but I was impressed with him overall,” he said.

“He has been training really well over the last few weeks since his return from injury, so he deserved the opportunity to start against Newcastle.

“I wanted to get Branden Horton some game time because he has been really impressive and Cody Prior, but with the injuries we got early on in the game I couldn’t get Cody onto the field.”

Rovers had the ball in the back of the net in the opening stages of the game through John Marquis but it was ruled out for offside, and McCann says his side did not get the rub of the green on the night.

“I think we created a lot of opportunities and I think we should have gone 1-0 up with John’s goal that was given as offside, but we just didn’t get the rub of the green,” he added.

“We have started okay in the league as we have only lost the one game, we need to pick up more wins that is the first and foremost.

“Luton will be a tough opposition on Saturday, it will be a good game because they are a good footballing team and we will need a lot of energy.”

Rovers are back at the Keepmoat Stadium on Saturday September 8 against Luton Town in Sky Bet League One, get your tickets now from the Club Doncaster Box Office on 01302 762 576 or online at

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