Rovers manager, Dean Saunders is anticipating a big crowd for the visit of South Yorkshire rivals Sheffield United on New Year’s Day.
“Everybody wants to watch it – It’s New Year’s Day, people will be off work so hopefully there’s a big crowd.
“We had a lot of fans here today (at Preston) so that was great, so they’ll be there. Hopefully they’ll be people coming to the game who haven’t been before and they keep coming in the future.”
Sheffield United travel to The Keepmoat on the back of a shock defeat at the hands of bottom club Hartlepool United, only their third defeat of the season, but Saunders still anticipates a tough test.
“Well, until today they’ve been hard to beat. They’re solid and they don’t let many goals in.
“I expect Sheffield United to bounce back - You saw how our players reacted to the Coventry game – We just have to make sure we’re solid and don’t give them anything”
The win at Preston meant that Rovers are now level on points with the visitors and Dean believes his team are in the right shape to take on The Blades.
“We’re bang on form, we’ve lost one in the last seven or eight and I think we’ve won 6 of them and the team keeps improving”
United’s defeat to Hartlepool shows how tight the league can be and the former Blade says that despite how tight the league is, any team can make a push for promotion if they find consistency.
“We’ve just got to keep banging the results out; I don’t really look at everyone else.
“If you win three games on the trot you travel up the league no matter what league you’re in whether you’re at the bottom or the top, it makes a massive difference to your points.
“We’ve just won two on the trot. Let’s see if we can make it three.”
Sheffield United are a team the Rovers manager feels are a major threat in League One and believes now is the best time to play them.
“They’re the biggest club in the league a mile and hopefully we can get them before they sign any new players. Some might arrive in the morning, but I hope not”
The game has a bit of extra spice to it for Saunders, having played for the visitors but says that any memories he has of his time there goes out of the window on Tuesday.
“I played for Sheffield United - it’s a great club and I enjoyed it there, we had a good team and it was a good time
“Danny Wilson, the manager, I played with when I was young so it’s got a bit of an edge to it all round – It’s a local derby with a bit of that in there as well.
“We had a team of internationals – And I banged some goals in for them.”
Saunders recalls his most famous moment as a Sheffield United player in which he scored after taking a throw-in off the goalkeeper.
“I’m probably remembered for throwing the ball off the goalkeeper’s back, most of the fans remember that one.
“It’s a big club and a great club but I put that to one side on New Year’s day and try and take three points off of them.”
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