Rovers boss Dean Saunders will hope that his eagerness and enthusiasm in pre-match press interviews rubs off on his players this weekend when they make the arduous journey to Colchester.
“It’s nice to have everybody fit and there’s a small squad there but they’re all of a quality where there’s not much difference between them,” he said.
“We’ve only got 18 players at the minute; we’ve got a big programme in front of us and a big season. The dilemma for me is ‘do I pick the same team if we’re winning?’ and it doesn’t matter what league you’re in you’ll have that.”
Rovers players will also hope to be recipients of Saunders’ lavish praise, which he heaped on midfielder David Syers, who has made an impressive start to life at the Keepmoat Stadium, “David Syers is an example to everybody and I hope the supporters can see that we haven’t had a player like him at this club, as far as I know, in a long time who gets in the box on the end of things, winning headers in the middle of the pitch, clearing the ball in his own box and I quite enjoy watching him play,” he said.
Rovers’ home fixture against Oldham, which was scheduled for Saturday 8th September, had to be rearranged for Tuesday 27th November due to international call ups – a move which frustrated the Welsh manager, and left him plenty of time for reflection on a 2-1 defeat at Yeovil Town the previous week, “I had hoped to play Oldham, but you accept it. You look at the Yeovil game and say ‘well I could have done that differently’.
“I’ve just put this group of players together; Iain Hume’s new and managed to set up a goal on his debut, where Billy Paynter’s grabbed a goal and he’s now off the mark. I’m sure there’ll be lots from him to come and there are lots of positives to take.”
Loanee forward Hume epitomised the last ditch nature of the scramble for new signings when he made the deadline day move from Deepdale to feature in the Huish Park fixture, but Saunders has admitted other potential recruits will be acquired as and when necessary: “I think we are a little short in certain areas of a type of player doing a certain job which I want them to do. Against Crawley, they stopped us playing and then hitting long balls in behind us so we couldn’t get it off them.
“They had done their homework and came to frustrate us and stop us playing. We missed lots of chances in the first half and if we’d taken those chances then they would have had to change their tactics so we’ve got to be equipped for that, and for teams who come and play football against us, or even those like Yeovil who counter attacked against us, which we knew was going to happen and we got caught.”
Saunders emphasised his attention to detail, “I’ve showed the players the mistakes for the goals we’ve let in and they were all avoidable.
“Colchester is a tough place to go, there’s no easy games and what you’ve got to get out of thinking is that we’re a Championship club and should be beating them. Yeovil for example have a formula set in place by Gary Johnson that all the players know and can beat anyone when they get it right. The league won’t take shape for ten games probably and their players will be thinking ‘it’s Doncaster, let’s get up for it’, we’ve got to be the same because we might have looked jaded previously.
“All we can do on Saturday is create chances, put them away, defend properly, get a decent referee and some luck,” he finished in matter of fact fashion.