Doncaster Rovers: Leicester trip ‘as big as Brentford’ says Wellens

Wellens says Saturday's trip to Leicester is Rovers' very own play-off final.
Wellens says Saturday's trip to Leicester is Rovers' very own play-off final.

Richie Wellens delivered his verdict on Saturday’s do-or-die trip to Leicester in his usual frank manner – it’s as big as Brentford.

The events in the few final crazy moments at Griffin Park a year ago meant that glorious afternoon for Rovers will forever shine bright in the annals of the club’s history.

But the magnitude of that game for Rovers is matched by this weekend’s trip to the King Power Stadium according to the stand-in skipper.

“For me there’s no difference, it’s as big as Brentford was last year,” Wellens said.

“You’re playing one game where you could be in one league or another by the end of it. It’s a play off final.

“It determined whether we play in League One next year, which no one wants, or whether we stay in the Championship.”

Wellens refused to hold back when discussing the consequences of failure for Rovers this weekend.

“Players don’t want to play in League One,” he said bluntly.

“Players here will suffer financially if we go down.

“The big gulf between the Championship and Premier League is always talked about but the gulf from the Championship to League One is even bigger.

“You should want to be here where you’re playing at big grounds week-in, week-out on good pitches.

“We’ve got to go out and show that we want to be Championship players next year.”

The big positive Rovers have heading into this final game is that their destiny is in their own hands.

Forever the realist, Wellens admits it is unlikely Rovers are going to cruise to victory over Leicester on Saturday.

So the midfielder wants to see a game plan implemented for Rovers to get exactly the result they need, taking into consideration how third bottom Birmingham are faring at Bolton.

Wellens said: “We need a game plan where we’re in the game for 65-70 minutes, keeping it at 0-0 and have a look what’s happening with Birmingham.

“The results elsewhere influence what we need to do.

“We don’t want to be going gung-ho early on if we don’t need to. We need to try and hit them late.

“We saw what happened when we pressed high from the off at Bournemouth and we were out of the game after 20 minutes.

“That can’t be the case at Leicester.”

Wellens looks set to lead out Rovers against his former club, walking right into the middle of their title winning celebrations.

But a sell out at the King Power Stadium could work out best for Rovers according to the 34-year-old.

He said: “The games we’ve struggled in this year have been the ones where we’ve had a poor crowd.

“There’s going to be 30-odd thousand there on Saturday and to play in that environment with the massive carrot at the end of it if we get the result, it should lift everyone.

“The atmopshere and the meaning are huge. There will be the nerves and tension fearing if it doesn’t go well and we fail. We have to rise to it.

“Let’s hope Leicester have had a few weeks on the beer and are relaxed enough to take the three points.

“I know the gaffer there well and he’ll want to end the season on a high and be as professional as possible.

“But with what they’ve achieved already, there’s not going to be switched on for the full 90 minutes.

“You saw it with them getting beat by Brighton.

“We need to take advantage of any openings we get.

“I’m going to score the winner against my old club and keep us up. Why not?”