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Gary McSheffrey not giving up as Doncaster edge closer to relegation

Gary McSheffrey’s side edged closer to relegation (Richard Sellers/PA)
Gary McSheffrey’s side edged closer to relegation (Richard Sellers/PA)

Doncaster boss Gary McSheffrey insists his side have to remain positive despite their League One survival hopes suffering a major blow with defeat to Bolton.

Rovers sit six points from safety with three matches left to play after the 2-1 loss to the Trotters.

West Ham loanee Mipo Odubeko cancelled out Amadou Bakayoko’s opener for Bolton only for Kieran Sadlier to put the visitors back in front almost immediately and deliver a hammer blow to Doncaster’s quest to remain in the third tier.

But McSheffrey says the focus must quickly shift to the trip to Shrewsbury on Monday and picking up a vital victory.

“Monday is massive for us,” he said.

“We go there, get the three points and look at the other results.

“It’s mathematically achievable but we have to look out for the others as well. There’s more frustration for us when you see that a couple of results went our way again.

“It’s disappointing because we played well enough to win this game, barring a couple of periods when they dominated the ball and moved it really well.

“We created the better of the chances and, with a bit more quality in front of goal, we’d have won.

“I said to them afterwards that it was the performance level and commitment that I expect.

“We’ve done that in three games on the spin now so we have to try to give the players confidence that they’re playing the right way.

“I’m just disappointed that we’ve lost because we have played the right way.”

While frustrated with some aspects of his side’s performance, Bolton boss Ian Evatt was delighted with their determination to maintain their positive end-of-season form.

Evatt has targeted a top 10 finish for the Trotters, who have lost just three times in their last 19 matches, with Friday’s win lifting them to 11th in the standings.

He said: “We had to dig in and scrap and I thought our attitude was excellent.

“I have said a bit in previous weeks that coming to places like this, struggling teams, has been our Kryptonite, and when they put it on us we have sometimes wilted. We are not proud of that.

“We keep saying we win or we learn and we know what we need to do to manage the game.

“I think at times we were a little bit naive in the second half, it became a bit transitional, the gaps between the lines became too big and we were not connected as a team. It was like basketball.

“It was whoever got that punch in last and, fortunately for us, that was us.

“We will learn from that again, show them the footage, and improve again.”