Doncaster Rovers: Angry Jones refuses to cut team slack after defeat to Sheffield United

Rob Jones manager of Doncaster Rovers watches on after Gary MacKenzie is sent off
Rob Jones manager of Doncaster Rovers watches on after Gary MacKenzie is sent off

Rob Jones, the Doncaster Rovers manager, cut a frustrated figure following his team’s defeat by Sheffield United.

The former Scunthorpe and Hibernian defender blamed carelessness and individual errors, rather than Gary Mackenzie’s first-half sending-off, for a result which left him searching for his first win since being placed in caretaker charge of the League One club following Paul Dickov’s departure earlier this month.

“I’m angry,” Jones said. “We got back on level terms and then there was mistake after mistake after mistake. There have been words but that stays in the dressing room. I’m looking now for a reaction from the players.”

Jones’ assessment appeared to be unduly harsh on the visitors who, after seeing Cameron Stewart cancel-out Chris Basham’s opener, found themselves at a huge disadvantage when MacKenzie was shown the red card for a challenge on Craig Alcock. Predictably, against opponents expected to be competing at Championship level next term, set-pieces appeared to represent their best chance of securing something from the contest. But, despite lacking invention as Conor Sammon and Billy Sharp pounced during the second-half, Rovers demonstrated commendable industry.

Jones demeanour could have been influenced by his desire to secure the position on a permanent basis although he pointedly refused to elaborate on the matter during the post-match inquest. With the deadline for external applications now closed, the 35-year-old, whose squad returns to action against Swindon Town tomorrow, will be searching for a victory to enhance his claims when Rovers’ board of directors meet to decide Dickov’s replacement.

“It’s not about me,” he said. “It’s about Doncaster and today we just weren’t good enough. Will they (the players) be in on Sunday? Maybe, maybe not.”