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McSheffrey expects players to take their chance in Papa John's Trophy

29 August 2022

Club News

McSheffrey expects players to take their chance in Papa John's Trophy

29 August 2022

Gary McSheffrey expects those handed game time in the Papa John’s Trophy to recognise the importance of performing well in the competition.

McSheffrey confirmed he will make multiple changes for Tuesday’s clash with Newcastle United U21s at the Eco-Power Stadium and hand important match minutes to those who have been on the fringes so far this term.

And he has implored those involved to use their time on the pitch to impress and force their way into action in the league, where Rovers have made an impressive start to the campaign.

On selection for the game:

“We’ll definitely make a lot of changes and it’ll be classed as a development squad, with lads getting valuable minutes.

“They need to be champing at the bit for this one. We’re winning at the minute and they should want to get in the team.

“It’s a big game for a lot of players. The younger players that are on the bench and around the periphery of it will get game time.

Some youth team players will get on the bench and it’ll be the biggest game of their careers so far, playing at the stadium, against Newcastle U21 in a first team game.

“I’m not concerned one bit about anyone not being up for this game.”

On the potential for success in the Trophy to transfer to the league:

“Sutton [finalists last season] were a surprise team last season, although they are very good at what they do as we know. They had a great season overall.

“I went to the Checkatrade Trophy when Coventry won it against Oxford about five years ago. There were 45,000 fans from Coventry and it was a great day for the city.

“We know where we’re at with it. We’ve got players who need testing at the level.

“We’ll treat the group stages as a development group and hope that we get through. Once you get through then it’s knockout football.”

On the presence of U21 teams in the competition:

“It’s a big night for them because they’re playing against pros. But sometimes they’re coming to stadiums that are only a third the size of their own so they’ll probably prefer home games.

“There’s some real, good quality players.

“If the top teams get two players that come out of that group and play in the first team on a regular basis, then it’s been a success for them.

“There will be some that aren’t up to the level but it’s a great competition for those young pros.”

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