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McCann seeking to restore bravery into Rovers squad ahead of Mansfield trip

28 December 2023

Interviews

McCann seeking to restore bravery into Rovers squad ahead of Mansfield trip

28 December 2023

Grant McCann has reiterated to the Rovers squad that they have the freedom to express themselves on the pitch as they prepare to visit on-form Mansfield Town.

McCann is seeking to reignite bravery on the ball within the group as they seek to fight their way out of the slump in form that has characterised the festive period so far.

Rovers face a tough trip to Mansfield on December 29 and the manager has urged his side to shake off any ‘safeness’ that has crept into their game.

He said: “I think we base our game around being on the front foot, being aggressive in the press, and we also base our game around having people on the ball, brave players who want the ball, take it and aren’t afraid to lose it, as long as we show that reaction and aggressive to get it back.

“These are things that I think have hurt us in the last three games where we haven’t been brave enough on the ball. But that is something we can get back and we can coach. If we show the trust in the players, hopefully they can go and show it on the pitch.

“I don’t think we’ve been aggressive enough in our press or dynamic enough in our play when we go forward. These are things that will come back in the game. It’s not as if they’re massive things that we need to change.

“From the outside looking in, people might be thinking ‘what is going on at Doncaster?’ But we’re actually quite calm here. I’m calm and quite controlled.

“I know there’s a good group of honest players that just need some support at times and need that bit of guidance that can hopefully get them to perform better than what we’re showing on the pitch at the moment.

“We just need to get back to the foundations and the principles of what we’re about, the style of play, what we work on every single day - as well as playing with the smile on our face. It looks like we’re a bit uptight in terms of how we want to work at the minute.”

Rovers have faced the Stags twice already this season, with good performances in both matches and McCann wants to see more of the same on the latest visit to the One Call Stadium.

“We know we’re coming up against a good Mansfield team,” he said. “We’ve played them twice and I think Nigel Clough will know his side were in a game twice against us.

“We’ll go there, hopefully with confidence and hopefully the fire and freedom in our belly to try to get a result.”

McCann confirmed that Tom Anderson will miss the trip to Mansfield Town with a back injury while Joseph Olowu has shaken off the issue which forced him off at Notts County.

Will Flint will also miss the game after picking up an injury at Meadow Lane but Bobby Faulkner is set to travel after returning to training following his long-term ankle injury.

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