Dean Saunders spoke at his pre-match press conference in a calm and collected manner despite the summer transfer window deadline, and a long trip to Somerset to take on league leaders Yeovil, looming large.
Speculation over the proposed departure of star winger James Coppinger – who provided two assists for Dave Syers during the midweek 3-2 victory over Hull City – has been rife, and thus Saunders attempted to clarify the situation: “I think there are a few people who’ve shown an interest in him but no one has come forward with an offer. Every Championship club would be able to afford his wages, I just think managers are juggling and leaving it until the last minute; he is a good player and would get in most of those teams.”
“It’s time for me to cross my fingers and hope no one rings up for any of our players but I also want to make some room so I can finish the squad off. I’m hoping to get one or two in by the deadline.”
Saunders, who had to name a very inexperienced bench for the Capital One Cup 2nd round tie on Tuesday, admitted that Preston North End striker Iain Hume is “on the radar, as are a number of others”, but all are subject to various conditions and scenarios.
The Welshman said that plenty could happen in the next 48 hours and that also includes the forthcoming Capital One Cup Round 3 draw.
“I think if we get a real big draw then its worth a lot to the club and that will obviously help me because the directors have said I can have most of it. The side have surpassed my expectations in August, winning four out of
five, so everything’s been good so far but we’ve got to keep it going and we can’t be sloppy and must be disciplined around the place. We’ve got to tighten up,” he said.
“I assembled a group of players together and three joined in the week before the start of the season so you’re going to get teething problems because some are playing one way and others another, it takes a while to get them all doing the right thing. Once you know where your teammates are and where the ball is going to be and that understanding of how I want them to play is developed it’s easier. It takes a lot of time and it can be boring but the more we do it, the better it gets.”
Saunders rested key personnel for the League Cup tie in which Rovers caused an upset over higher placed opposition and Yorkshire neighbours in the shape of the Tigers, but all should return to regular positions despite the aforementioned Syers’ impressive double as a makeshift striker. He said: “Syers is a nice lad with a good attitude; he’s ambitious and wants to play for the club and he’s a team player. He does things that others don’t want to do, covering the ground etc and he’s got an instinct to score which is what I saw in him. The first thing I saw was his goalscoring ability.
“Everyone should be fit for Yeovil. It’s a nice problem for me to have, one which I haven’t had and it’s now up to me to pick a side to do a job. Sometimes when you get a load of injuries you sign a load of players you don’t want to sign because you’re desperate but with everyone fit for Saturday, that takes the pressure off me.
“We’ve had a decent start and we’ve got to make sure now that we don’t think we’re better than we are, don’t relax and make sure that we’re hard to play against. Make sure when we go to Yeovil that we’re not a pushover and can score. They’re a big strong team who are very mobile and haven’t lost a game yet but we’ve got everything to match them.”