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Dean: ‘Toughest Test Yet’

25 October 2012

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Rovers face Notts County this weekend after the midweek victory over early pace setters Tranmere Rovers.

Manager Dean Saunders had set his players a target of six points from the three fixtures against Brentford, Tranmere and Notts County, however, after recording successive victories to reach the target with a game to spare, Dean has challenged his players to go to Notts County and complete a clean sweep and collect all nine.

‘We've got six points in the bag from these three games, I said to the players six points isn't a bad total but when you get the first three points in the bag you can aim at getting nine – if we get nine points we are going to be in the top three or four. 

‘All the teams around us keep winning as well, but we are only six points behind the leaders, with a game in hand, which is a good position to be in.’

Dean has pin pointed the success that the team are enjoying on the defensive work that the players are putting in.

‘We are defending well in games and not letting many goals in,’ he said

‘We’ve only conceded around twelve goals this season and were averaging a goal a game ourselves. Rob Jones is obviously an example to everybody at the club, he’s got us about fifteen points already at both ends of the pitch.’

Dean admitted that he expects Notts County will be tougher opposition then both Brentford and Tranmere and expects them to be challenging at the top end of the league table come the end of the season.

‘Notts County are a good team, they've got some good forward players and try to attack against teams so it will probably be the toughest game out of the last three. I think that they will be up there come the end of the season as will Brentford and Tranmere.’

The result against Tranmere came at a cost with midfielder David Cotterill, James Husband both leaving the field of play unable to continue, although Dean is hopeful that Cotterill will recover in time for the game.

‘David Cotterill is not quite as bad as we thought, he might make Saturday but he is still doubtful – it could be a good thing that we don’t know for definite that he is out, he might just be able to shake it off in time.

‘Paul Quinn has been in the oxygen chamber to try and speed his recovery up. He’s been playing with a really sore groin, I’m hoping he’s going to be alright – we’re just trying to patch him up in-between games. 

‘James Husband is ok now he was suffering with cramp, we have to go through what he has been eating and drinking to get to the bottom of that. 

‘Martin Woods has trained today, he’s got a bit of a pain shooting down his leg which sometimes feels like a hamstring but I don’t think it is.

‘Chris Brown hasn't trained today, he suffered spasms in the warm up against Tranmere, but I think he will be ok for Saturday.’

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