Doncaster Rovers: Rob Jones prepared to play again after Gary MacKenzie sending-off

Gary MacKenzie sees red
Gary MacKenzie sees red

Doncaster Rovers caretaker boss Rob Jones insists he is ready to play if needed following Gary MacKenzie’s red card against Sheffield United.

Centre-half MacKenzie will be banned for three matches following his dismissal for a high boot on Craig Alcock during Rovers’ 3-1 defeat.

Rob Jones looks less than pleased

Rob Jones looks less than pleased

And with Luke McCullough still sidelined with a knee injury, Rovers are short of senior cover in defence with Tuesday night’s game against Swindon Town at the Keepmoat approaching.

Jones has not played for more than five weeks after aggravating a long-standing neck injury against Ipswich Town last month.

After receiving the green light to return to action, the 35-year-old has kept himself in the technical area to concentrate on his position as interim boss.

When asked if he will feel pressure to throw himself back into a playing role, he said: “Pressure is something you put on yourself.

“Maybe there will come a point where I have to come out and play again. But I’m ready. If that has to happen Tuesday, then it’s what has to happen on Tuesday.

“I’m ready to do both sides.

“I’ve not gone away and done nothing.

“I’m fit, strong, I want to play.

“I’ve got options now.”

On MacKenzie’s dismissal, Jones said he would have to review the footage before delivering a considered verdict on the referee’s decision, but admitted he did have sympathy with the centre-half.

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Jones was furious with his players for the performance at Bramall Lane, conducting a lengthy dressing-room inquest after the final whistle.

But he insists he will not be going back to the drawing board ahead of the visit of Swindon.

He said: “I think because we’ve now had a few home truths it will hopefully make them react in a positive manner.

“I know it’s in there, I’ve got a good squad of players but those players have to produce.”