I hate transfer windows. I’ll say that much.
The season didn’t get off to the most auspicious of starts, losing Kris Commons with a sprained knee at the end of July, which would mean he’d miss a month, there was pressure, however, to maintain a positive cashflow into the club, so, outgoing moves would have to be made.
The first match of the season was a repeat of the last game of the previous one, with Wigan Athletic coming to Doncaster. It didn’t start well for us, with several players making their debuts, and we found ourselves 3-1 down after 20 minutes. Somehow, a John Marquis inspired comeback was on, and we came back to 3-3 at half time. A couple of changes 10 minutes into the second half bedded the side down a bit, and we were able to dominate, however, we didn’t secure 3 points until the 87th minute with Marquis getting his 4th of the game with a free kick.
Next up, Sunderland, who only just missed out on relegation to League One last season. Now managed by Gennaro Gattuso, he took great pleasure in telling me that they’d win the game, and easily. However, it didn’t turn out to be that easy for them, as despite them outshooting us 2-1, we had more shots on target, and secured the winner through Jeff King, who had entered the game in the 31st minute when James Coppinger was injured.
We found ourselves drawn against Leicester in the next round, at the Keepmoat, so that would provide some money to keep the coffers a little fuller.
A visit to Fleetwood came next, and despite the hosts having little of the game other than one shot on goal, we left with a 1-1 draw, disappointing, but, again, a work towards the end of the season.
Walsall were visitors to the Keepmoat next, with their talismanic midfielder, Erhun Oztumer returning from injury, however, they found themselves 2-0 down within 7 minutes, as Kazaiah Sterling and Indy Boonen both scored their first goals for the club, and on 35 minutes, full back Tyler Garrett burst into the box and slotted home to complete the scoring. A 3-0 win, which left us 6th in the table, with no more league action in the month, and only Leicester to visit coming.
The visit of Leicester was somewhat disappointing, with the Premier League visitors running out 2-0 winners in front of a crowd of 10000. Disappointing, but, again, worthwhile funds into the club.
Next day saw the return of Kris Commons to full training, however, this lasted less than an hour, as he withdrew, having suffered ruptured cruciate ligaments, which will probably end his time at Doncaster Rovers.
The transfer window was closing in less than 2 days, and I’d got a couple of moves left to make.
Former Coventry trainee, Conor Thomas, who, earlier in his career had spent time at Liverpool, was available on a free after departing Kolkata in India, he was keen to come, and would provide depth in midfield.
The next couple of moves were to secure 16 year old winger Robbie Byrne, and striker Darragh Shaughnessy, both on free transfers.
The first of the outgoings came on deadline day, with Matty Blair, who hadn’t had many starts under me, wanting to move. Portsmouth came straight in and offered £150000 up front for him, and, he left.
Shortly after that, Bolton came in with an offer for my centre back/defensive midfielder Luke McCullough. The up front offer of £250000, rising to £400000 was accepted, and I moved to replace him with Charltons transfer listed centre back, Harry Lennon.