Doncaster Rovers: ‘I gave them the benefit of the doubt’ – Grant McCann on why he felt his team selection against Coventry was wrong

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Grant McCann has urged his Doncaster Rovers players to make sure they are living the right life off the pitch after questioning the focus of some in last weekend’s defeat to Coventry City.

McCann accepted some of the blame for the 2-1 defeat at the Ricoh Arena, stating he got his selection wrong.

Grant McCann

Grant McCann

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s trip to Charlton Athletic, the Rovers boss explained he had a feeling during the build-up to the game that some of his players were not fully focused, but gave them the benefit of the doubt.

And he insisted they must make the right choices away from the club to ensure they are at their best when there.

“I sensed it on Thursday and Friday, to be honest, that the focus wasn’t there in the group,” McCann said.

“Looking in people’s eyes, I’m usually not a bad judge of character – not bigging myself up.

“I just sensed that people weren’t as switched on as I’d seen them.

“That was in training, in the game, in the team meeting – you know when you look at someone and you don’t quite think they’re listening.

“I knew right away because I said to Cliff [Byrne, assistant manager} and the analyst Alex that I didn’t think they’d listened.

“It wasn't that they weren’t listening to me – it’s just that they weren’t switched on or focused.

“At that time I should have changed the team but I didn’t, I gave them the benefit of the doubt.

“We went into the game and that’s why I held my hands up after the game and said I’d picked the wrong team.

“One or two individuals just weren’t focused on the job.

“Whether that was through what they do off the pitch, because I can’t monitor what they do when they go home, whether they’re eating right, sleeping well, up all night playing Playstation.

“It’s about getting that bit right.”

McCann revealed he had spoken to his players about a lack of focus during training the day before the game and reiterated that performance at Cantley Park is reflected on matchdays.

“I told them on Friday when they finished their warm-up that I was uncomfortable,” he said.

“I told them they need to show me in training that they’re ready to play.

“The training session started a bit slowly, it got better and I felt more comfortable.

“But you can’t just switch it on and off.

“Every day you train, and I learned this as a player, you have to be switched on.

”You can’t just be rubbish Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and expect to perform on a Saturday.

“You’ve got to train the way you want to play.

“Ultimately that’ll bring a good performance for yourself first and foremost and it definitely helps the team.”