TOWN manager Andy Ritchie watched his side suffer a second League I defeat in succession and admitted: “Doncaster wanted to win more than we did.”
Yesterday’s Sky-televised 2-0 defeat at the Keepmoat Stadium left the Galpharm side 15th in the table ahead of a crunch home derby against 19th-placed Oldham on Saturday.
It’s a match Town must win if they are to get their season back on track, but Ritchie accepts it will take a much more determined display.
“The coaching staff and players have had a long chat,” said the boss, whose side fell to goals by Brian Stock, in the 13th minute, and Mark Wilson, in the 65th, in front of 6,866.
“We know we can win away games – we did it at Bournemouth and Millwall – but we’ve got to have more desire, because it certainly looked like it was missing here.
“It looked like they wanted to win it more than us, it’s as simple as that. We have to be as quick and eager to run back towards our own goal as we are going forwards.
“We worked on things during the week, but we didn’t put them into action. We didn’t do what we set out to, and I can only think that’s down to our desire and the will to win.”
Ritchie switched from 4-4-2 to a 3-5-2 system in a bid to counter Doncaster’s midfield power, but said: “That was where we lost it.
“Each team had three players in the centre of midfield, and if you stay with the runners, there won’t be a problem, but we didn’t do that.”
Asked if there had been any improvement on the previous week’s 4-0 defeat at Walsall, Ritchie, whose side have now gone four away games without scoring, responded: “Only that we conceded two goals fewer.
“We felt we were getting into it towards the end of the first half, as we had some decent passages of play and three good corners.
“But the balls went right across the box and nobody showed the desire to get on the end of them, and that’s another disappointment.”
Ritchie insisted his side should have been awarded a penalty when Danny Cadamarteri, back after a one-game suspension, was pushed in the back by Matthew Mills as he prepared to shoot in the 32nd minute.
“It was a definite penalty, and we don’t seem to be getting any decisions at the minute, but that can’t detract from the way we played,” he said.
“We got exactly what we deserved from this game – nothing.
“Oldham will be tough, but we’ll have a look at team selection during the week and work hard to get the players up for the game.”
Ritchie, who left close-season signing Malvin Kamara out of his starting side for the first time, will have Frank Sinclair back after suspension.