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Donacien: Cup Rotation Has Benefited Me
Sunday, 24th Nov 2019 17:28

Blues right-back Janoi Donacien felt Town were unlucky not to claim all three points from Saturday’s 2-2 home draw with Blackpool. The 26-year-old, many observers' pick as the Blues' man of the match against the Tangerines, also believes he has benefited from manager Paul Lambert's policy of rotating his team for cup matches.

“I felt like we had the game,” Donacien said. “I felt for their penalty, he’s made the most of it and we had the bulk of the chances. I can’t even remember them creating much. I felt like we were just unlucky, to be honest.”

Donacien, who was making his first League One start since August, helped get the Blues off to a great start, sending over the deep cross which eventually led to Gwion Edwards’s eighth-minute goal.

The St Lucia-born defender was pleased to have contributed to the goal but less so as it didn’t lead to three points: “Yes, but we didn’t get the win. We’ve got to go again on Tuesday.”

Regarding the two second-half penalties - on at each end - he added: “I think our one, I can’t even remember it, to be honest, but for their one the first contact came [from Luke Woolfenden] and he’s ridden it and then the second one [from Luke Chambers] he’s just jumped over it so they’ve given a pen.”

Donacien said he was in no doubt that left-back Luke Garbutt would convert the Blues’ spotkick: “Garbs has got a wand of a left foot. He steps up, no problem for him.”

Does the on-loan Everton man practice penalties in training? “Garbs does everything, takes goalkicks and all!”

Despite not claiming the victory, Donacien says the mood in the dressing room after the game was positive.

“The boys are good, not getting down, there’s nothing to get down about,” he insisted. “We’re in this, we still believe we’ve got the momentum on our side and we’ll just keep on going.”

The former Accrington man says he can have had no complaints about being out of the League One side given the Blues’ form.

“The boys are winning, it’s a team game so I was happy for the team,” he said. “But when my time comes I just want to take it and hopefully put on my best side.”

Kane Vincent-Young came in towards the end of August, signed from Colchester for £500,000, and made a terrific start to his Town career.

“Exactly, you’ve got a good player who has come in and done really well, scored as well,” Donacien reflected.

“I take my hat off to him, he’s done really well. We’ll just keep this going between us and hopefully the team just keeps getting better.”

Vincent-Young’s groin operation has seen Donacien given his chance in the league having featured in the cup fixtures.

“It’s about playing games, you know?” he added. “When you play games your form improves. The more games you play, the better.

“Everyone just wants to play, that’s the main thing and as soon as you get your chance you have to take it. If you don’t take it, then you’ve got no arguments. Hopefully everyone can take their chance when it comes their way.”

Donacien says he has benefited from the opportunity the rotation policy for cup games has given him and has - as manager Paul Lambert has repeatedly said is his intention - enabled him to get up to speed for when he was required in the league.

“They have because it doesn’t matter how much training you do, how much running you do, unless you’re playing games then your fitness is just going to deteriorate,” he said. “So the games in the Trophy have been very good for me personally.”

Donacien was among Paul Hurst’s summer-of-2018 signings from the lower leagues, the former boss paying Stanley £750,000 for his services.

He started the season in the short-lived boss’s team but then didn’t feature in the Championship under Paul Lambert before rejoining Accrington on loan in the January.

Does he feel fans didn’t see the best of him last season given the club’s struggles? “I agree with what you say at times, but then what can I do? If you don’t get picked to play, you don’t get picked to play.”

Lambert said last season he viewed Donacien, who had been a young player at Aston Villa under his management, as a centre-half rather than a right-back. Does he feel Lambert was perhaps judging him on their time together at Villa Park when he first took over at Portman Road?

“When I left [Villa] I started to play right-back,” Donacien said. “It could have been a bit of that. He said to me last year, ‘Just go out and play games and come back next year refreshed’. So, hopefully that’s what I’ve done.

“And then obviously Kane’s come in and done really well, I can’t say anything, can’t knock him, he’s done really well.

“Hopefully we’ll just keep the rivalry going between us. I’ll push him on, he pushes me on, that’s how it goes.

“When you’re a good team you’re supposed to have competition for all places and I think that’s what we’ve got in every position right now.”

Photo: TWTD

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meekreech added 18:26 - Nov 24
Rest of them must have been rough if he was thought to be man of the match !

TimmyH added 18:28 - Nov 24
Actually he was one of our better players...but about the rotation thing is this really Donacien's thoughts or is he trying to get into Lambert's good books?

Wickets added 18:49 - Nov 24
Its about playing games you know !

SamWhiteUK added 19:20 - Nov 24
meekreech, you've managed to make it obvious that you a) didn't watch the game and b) don't have clue on more than one level, in fewer than 20 words! Impressive.

LonE17Blue added 19:52 - Nov 24
By all accounts, Donacien had a good game yesterday, so there are some benefits. However, without a doubt if we fail to get promoted this year, this manic rotation policy will have played a huge part in the failure. This policy is just an added complication added to the lone striker setup. Both of which can be avoided with a bit more adventure and courage. We all know that the lone striker does not work for us, and got us relegated, so we don't need to carry on with this experiment! What is the percentage of games have we actually won, when playing a lone striker over the last two seasons I wonder. Probably countable on one hand.

Its just my opinion, we all have the same ambition, lets hope we get there one way or another This Season. COYB!

cat added 20:05 - Nov 24
Saturdays gone, it’s all about Tuesday now. No such thing as a must win game in November, but it’s important to win this one. Lamberts created some negativity over the last month, nothing like a win to rejuvenate things.

Pilgrimblue added 20:41 - Nov 24
OK LonE17 you weren't there and while I agree that the lone striker doesn't suit our current squad, the rotation policy does have its merits (not 10 changes though!) as I can see that Pl is trying to get as many up to 1st team standard with so many games.
There's already been injuries to key players plus those that haven't kicked a ball yet. So having more to choose from makes some sense. Donacian has proved that with a good showing but I'm still waiting for Keane as he's looked quite poor so far. Also on the plus side is the number of youngsters that are on the verge.

midastouch added 21:28 - Nov 24
"Ranieri earned himself the nickname of 'The Tinkerman' during his Chelsea days, repeatedly altering his starting XI, but has seemingly changed his policy at the King Power Stadium after making just 27 changes all season - a Premier League low."
I know one example isn't necessarily going to translate from one club to another, however, there could be a lesson for us in there somewhere given when Ranieri chopped and changed at Chelsea he eventually ended up getting sacked, whereas when he barely shuffled the pack at Leicester he ended up winning the Premier League.

dirtydingusmagee added 21:50 - Nov 24
ooooii Donacian get out there and tell em all rotation is a gud idea and its dun'ye gud.

ArnieM added 22:00 - Nov 24
I’d hope PL will now field a more settled team week on week, now that we got rid of these International breaks until about March.

There can be no doubt that the team on Saturday looked fresh, lively and well up for the game. A pleasant change indeed! I’d like to think the team can now push on and gain real momentum going into Dec/ January period without having large numbers of players changed each game.

ITFCsince73 added 07:47 - Nov 25
We have younger players performing well, Woolf/Downes.
We have newish recruits performing well Nolan/Janoi.
Is it to much to ask if the old guard Chambo/Skuse can start upping a gear anytime soon??
Both been just about average so far.....we need much, much more. From the experienced 2.
Both seem to be strolling along in 1st gear.

ITFCsince73 added 07:56 - Nov 25
Fact is we need the 2 nailed on starters to start stepping up.
Otherwise top 2 will be out of reach.
Both been left out of the rotation policy, in league games.
Yet to see evidence of why.

spanishblue added 08:41 - Nov 25
As a tv viewer, having to watch I follow it’s easy to see what we haven’t got that’s a creative player ,Norwood and I do believe that Chambers at times gets caught as he’s slowing up maybe it’s time to rest him but Donacien Saturday I thought was really good considering the stick he gets on here our biggest problem was our wingers failing with delivery and backing out of 50-50s my opinion only

oldbri added 09:43 - Nov 25
spanishblue our biggest problem was match officials that do not notice when a ball has crossed the goal line. We scored a perfectly good goal but it was not given.

TractorClarke added 10:01 - Nov 25
Whilst this was one of Donaciens better games, I still would not say he was that good and has glaringly obvious problems when playing.

Maybe Lambert see's him more of a CB than a RB because he spends most of his time drifting into the middle with the CB's.

There was several times in that game where he had gone more central whilst blackpool were running down his side leaving so much space, they had time to read a bloody novel before they made the cross's into our box.

I don't want to be completely negative about him as I said, as one of his better games but I don't trust him still and there is plenty for him to work on.

Also, and this isn't pointed only at Donacien, but it never felt like we got out of second gear, when blackpool broke players would just be lightly jogging back, I want to see just as much commitment getting back to stop the through balls and crosses as I do going forward.

I honestly just felt that this was a game we could have won but it felt like the players felt as if we didn't need to try our hardest to do it.

Bert added 10:02 - Nov 25
Although nowhere near our best, all the players had a decent game but it just didn't click up front. Rowe and Edwards provided a spark at times but could rarely play Jackson in. Without a dip stick of a referee and linesman we would have won this game. Norwoods absence certainly didn't help but we can't just rely on him and Jackson to pop the ball in the net. Is rotation and postponing games the right approach ? We will see after Tuesday but for now I just about accept Lambert's thinking as we were certainly fresh on Saturday but we seem to have lost the resilience and confidence we had in the first 10 games.

TimmyH added 11:33 - Nov 25
'all the players had a decent game' - really!?! a few you wouldn't have thought were on the pitch...other than scoring Edwards did very little, Skuse very little, Nolan tried to get things ticking a long creatively but largely failed although put a few important tackles in, we know what Chambo did and Rowe although tried his best with step overs and tried to force something ultimately failed with his poor crosses or misplaced a decent game? no.

Interestingly enough there were some dutch fans sat near to me who come over every year, one of them said at half time they liked number 21 (Downes) breaking play up and starting something off and I mentioned he was one of 2 holding midfielders the other number 8, and the immediate reaction to that in the dutch lingo was 'yesh he duzzn't do much'...hahaha! said it all!

oldbri added 11:41 - Nov 25

IpswichToon added 11:55 - Nov 25
It was very close, but correctly not given as a goal (unlike the Accrington 'not' goal). Remember the whole ball has to be over the whole line

TimmyH added 12:20 - Nov 25
Looks to me the whole of the ball was over the line but even that photo is rather inconclusive.

Bert added 10:17 - Nov 26
Yes Timmy H, all the players had a decent game. You need to read that comment in relation to '"although nowhere near our best". Player ratings here and in the media would suggest that nobody had a bad game. That said, we need to find an extra gear tonight and play two up front.

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