Doncaster Rovers: 'It's a load of rubbish' - McCann on pre-season scoring stat

Reading anything into pre-season football is a dangerous business.

Mallik Wilks during the friendly with Sheffield United
Mallik Wilks during the friendly with Sheffield United

Players are not up to full match sharpness, new ideas have not quite taken hold and there is no real way of telling just how up-to-speed the opposition are.

But Doncaster Rovers fans could be forgiven for being a little concerned about one fact from their team’s calendar of friendlies.

Against the three EFL teams played, Rovers failed to score.

Granted, Championship sides Sheffield United and Birmingham City fielded particularly strong teams.

And against both United and Grimsby Town, Rovers created plenty of opportunities and really should have found the net.

But this of course is a Rovers side that last season was a little goal shy, whose scoring exploits let them down on numerous occasions.

There is little to suggest Rovers will not score many goals this season.

New boss Grant McCann has fostered an incredibly attacking and aggressive style of football which sees plenty of bodies committed forward in search of goals.

And the new additions have been hand selected to add to the goals tally with Ali Crawford offering a creative spark and Mallik Wilks set to give numerous defences a few headaches with direct running and power.

One man certainly not concerned by the lack of goals against league opposition in pre-season is McCann, who met a question on the subject with full force following the 2-0 defeat to the Blades on Friday night.

“It’s pre-season,” McCann said. “That’s what I would say.

“Read into pre-season all you want.

“You can win every game and ‘it’s only pre-season.’

“Lose every game and ‘it’s only pre-season.’

“It’s a load of rubbish really that we haven’t scored against league opposition.

“It doesn’t bother me.

“This group will score a lot of goals, trust me.

“And you will see that as the season goes on.”

One of the main stats from last season which McCann has quoted regularly when referencing what he wants to change about Rovers is that only eight per cent of breaks resulted in shots.

The counterattacking prowess of the new Rovers has been one of the most impressive attributes of this pre-season and there was three excellent breaks against Sheffield United.

“We’ve got pace, people who want to break, clever footballers who can handle the ball and run,” McCann said. “It’s exactly the way we play this formation.

“We’ve got defenders at the club that want to defend and keep the ball out of their net. It’s a big ask for them.

“It’ll come off because we’ve got players at the front end of the pitch that can bury chances.”