Doncaster Rovers: Wellens handed olive branch by Jones

Richie Wellens
Richie Wellens

Rob Jones has handed Richie Wellens an olive branch.

But Doncaster’s caretaker boss says it is still up to Wellens to convince him that he is fully commmited to the cause.

The 35-year-old midfielder wanted to move closer to his family home in Lancashire for personal reasons - and is understood to have seen a switch to Wigan Athletic collapse just prior to last week’s transfer deadline.

Wellens did not feature in Paul Dickov’s final two games in charge, against Fleetwood and Gillingham, but came in from the cold to play for an hour of Rovers Under-21s’ 3-2 defeat against Chesterfield earlier this week.

And while Jones says he is willing to let bygones be bygones, he has put the onus on Wellens to convince him that he is one hundred per cent committed to Rovers.

Jones said: “Richie Wellens played for my Under 21s on Tuesday. He called me on Monday and asked to play because he’s been out for a little while.

“He did really well to be fair.

“He’s not trained for a couple of weeks so his fitness is not where it was before he went away.

“I spoke to him again [on Thursday morning].

“Richie’s come back into the fold and trained on Thursday, and trained really well.

“But Richie has to sort a few things out first.

“He has to show me that he wants to be here, that he wants to play for this football club and he wants to be a positive influence in and around the football club. I told him that, he understood, and we get on with it.”

He added: “I told Richie he’s vitally important to me, to the dressing room and the football club.

“With his experience he can be a positive influence on everyone.

“But until I see that we will sit down and discuss things over and over again.”

Having missed two weeks of training, the chances of Wellens starting at Walsall tomorrow would appear slim.

However, Jones has not ruled it out.

“Will he be in my squad at the weekend? I know and you don’t,” said Jones, in conversation with local journalists.

“Will he play at the weekend? I know and you don’t.”