Richie Wellens has been told to put his experience to good use off the pitch as well as on it.
The 35-year-old was a somewhat surprise omission from last weekend’s win over Colchester United - with young Harry Middleton elevated ahead of him into the midfield holding role.
And, with one eye on the development of Doncaster’s youngsters, boss Darren Ferguson has told Wellens to put his experience to good use while also battling it out for a first team jersey.
“It’s always difficult decisions to leave players out,” said Ferguson, reflecting on last weekend’s team selection.
“I’ll always try and make the right decisions for the team for whatever game.
“I’ll get it wrong from time to time.
“But I’ve got to be honest with the players and give them respect by telling them why I’m doing it.
“Richie was fine,” he continued.
“And it’s important that Richie understands if he’s not playing that he’s still got a big role to play because he’s an experienced player.
“He’s got a young Harry Middleton playing in a similar position and he needs to talk to him, which he did well on Saturday.
“That’s something I explained to Richie.
“It’s not just about him playing all the time, it’s about the responsibility he takes with the younger players too.”
Meanwhile, the performances of local lad Middleton, and also his application in training, has caught the eye of Ferguson.
“He’s a player. There’s no question about that,” said Rovers’ boss.
“That’s one you look at and think ‘he’s got a great temperament, he wants to be a player, he wants to practice and improve’.
“I’ve been really, really pleased with him.”