Doncaster Rovers manager Grant McCann and striker John Marquis have been awarded League One Manager of the Month and Player of the Month respectively for September. Donny, who find themselves sitting in third place, won four games on the bounce in September after an impressive draw away at McCann’s former club Peterborough United. Marquis weighed in with 6 goals too, to put him at the top of the League One scoring charts. He is alongside Sunderland youngster Josh Maja at the summit.
Despite the accolades, Grant McCann is keen to not get ahead of himself. When asked about the trophy, he admitted he hasn’t even touched it. He said,
“It’s still up in the media office. It’s too early in the season to be celebrating.”
John Marquis was heaped with praise from his manager.
“John is outstanding”, McCann said. “He has scored a lot, but is hungry for more and I think he can get them.”
In terms of the start to the season, Accrington inflicted Doncaster’s second defeat of the season on Tuesday. McCann was understandably disappointed to fall to defeat, after telling players to ‘reach for the stars‘ last week. He said,
“It was an even game. Both teams had chances; they took theirs.”
“We missed a bit of quality in the final third. We played well in large spells, but Accrington defended well. They stifled every attack.”
Despite the loss, McCann told us that the squad has responded well to the setback.
“They are a great group of lads. Once you get a setback, you always want to come back stronger, much like anything in life.”
“We have different ways to pick up the squad. We show them what they did well, and what we can do better. The lads can take criticism.”
Doncaster have been praised so far this season for their high tempo play. McCann backed up these claims, and was clearly pleased with the attitudes of the squad. He believes that Rovers can cause anyone in this league problems when ‘we play our game.’
McCann admitted that he is wary of teams working Doncaster out as the season goes on. He believes that Donny can combat this by ‘making sure our system works better.’
“We are adaptable, we can change to suit the opposition”, he said.
A man of targets, McCann has been quite coy in recent weeks about how far off Doncaster are from being where he expects. He told us today that he believes the season’s start has been “OK,” Doncaster sit around where McCann expected to be. He also believes that League One is easier this season. He said,
“There is no Wigan or Blackburn this season, who will be 15/20 points ahead come May.”
Their next task is Fleetwood, who visit the Keepmoat Stadium on Saturday. Grant McCann has watched Joey Barton’s side put five goals past Scunthorpe this season already, and knows what they are capable of.
“It could have been ten on the night”, he said. “They are an experienced side, but then every team in this league has their strengths.”
McCann spoke about how keen Doncaster are to keep their unbeaten home record intact. Rovers have won 3 of their 5 games at home this season, conceding just two goals. McCann said,
“We show steel at both ends at home. We have one of the best home records in the league, and want to maintain that.”
In terms of injuries, Doncaster have had very few issues so far. McCann believes this is down to the squad being ‘robust.’
“Most of the lads can take more hits, which helps us.”, he said.
Tommy Rowe is back in training, but won’t play this weekend. Issam Ben Khemis is the only player not involved this week.