Former Doncaster Rovers stalwart Mickey Walker wants club to recruit more leaders

Mickey Walker: former director of football at Rovers
Mickey Walker: former director of football at Rovers

Doncaster Rovers are crying out for more leaders on the pitch, according to Mickey Walker.

The former Rovers director of football, now a pundit for BBC Radio Sheffield, wants to see Darren Ferguson bolster his squad this summer with strong, influential characters.

Walker was delighted at the way promotion was gained from League Two at the first time of asking and, when speaking to The Star, was full of praise for the job Ferguson has done over the last 12 months.

But he was also very concerned at the way Doncaster ended the season - with four straight defeats.

And he says that disappointing losing run, which saw Rovers miss out on the league title to Portsmouth and finish third in the table, highlighted a lack of leadership within the Rovers ranks.

“I think they’ve got to look at more strength in the side, in the sense of people who are prepared to get a grip of the game,” Walker said, when asked about priorities in the summer transfer window.

“That was one thing really lacking in the last game of the season at Hartlepool, there was no one really prepared to get a grip of things.

“There were no marshals in there, or ‘senior controllability’ you could call it.

“They need people who can get other people to play.

“They looked a disjointed team for the last few weeks of the season, and the results proved that.

“Yes, there were games when they played all right but did not win them. I was commentating on the Plymouth game and they got kippered by a set play.

“But teams come and do that to you these days. They’re very cute. So you’ve got to compensate for that.

“At Hartlepool they went 1-0 up but they never looked like they had control of the game.

“Having got promotion it looked like they’ve thought ‘we’ve done it’ but they’ve not really done it because it’s about carrying on and winning. The game’s about winning.”

He added: “They need more leaders. They need more generals. And they need more people to accept responsibility. When the chips are down that’s when you look towards your players that can bring you through.

“Even though they might not be your best players, sometimes they’re your leaders - people like the Nobby Stiles’s of this world, I know that’s going back a long way. They haven’t got that at the moment.”

Rovers are set to confirm the signing of a left back - one out of contract with a League Two club - later this week.