DCSIMG

DEAN: Just do it

BE PROFESSIONAL: Dean Saunders has encouraged his players to go about the FA Cup clash with Bradford Park Avenue 'in the right way.'

BE PROFESSIONAL: Dean Saunders has encouraged his players to go about the FA Cup clash with Bradford Park Avenue 'in the right way.'

  • by Paul Goodwin
 

JUST win – that is the very simple message from Dean Saunders ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup banana skin against Bradford Park Avenue.

Saunders will resist the temptation to make sweeping changes against the sixth tier side, who he watched win 2-1 at Colwyn Bay on Tuesday night to go sixth in the Conference North table.

Rovers go into the first round tie on the back of a superb hat trick of victories against Brentford, Tranmere and Notts County.

But Saunders says his side cannot afford to rest on their laurels as they aim to take their league form - just one defeat in ten - into the world’s most famous knockout competition.

“They’re a decent team and they’re doing well in their league,” said Saunders.

“They’ve got some good players who for one reason or another aren’t playing in the Football League any more.

“It’s a banana skin for us and we have to make sure we approach it the right way.

“We have to take luck and referee’s decisions out of the equation and get the job done.”

With five away wins already to their credit, Rovers have relished life on the road this term - and the players have visibly bought into Saunders’ ‘soak it up and counter’ approach.

I asked Saunders this week whether he wanted his team to play in a different way at the Keepmoat Stadium, where they face three games in quick succession over the next week.

“Just winning will do,” he said.

“We’ve played brilliantly and lost too many times since I came here.

“But now we’ve got a defence which can dig in and resist what’s thrown at them.

“Defensively we’re solid at the moment but football can slap you in the face if you’re not careful.

“We’ve just got to keep on working hard and make sure we don’t relax.”

Saunders is unlikely to risk any players carrying knocks this weekend. Paul Quinn, who is still nursing a groin problem, comes into that category.

Shelton Martis is set to return to the squad but winger David Cotterill is targeting a comeback against Crewe Alexandra on Tuesday night.

 

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