Crunch meeting: Doncaster Rovers set to decide on 2012/13 policy

Simon Gillett is one of several players out of contract this summer. Picture: Andrew Roe
Simon Gillett is one of several players out of contract this summer. Picture: Andrew Roe
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DEAN Saunders will meet with chairman John Ryan today to discuss plans to get Doncaster Rovers back on track.

Rovers’ four-year Championship adventure will be de-railed on Saturday if they fail to beat Portsmouth at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Under discussion today will be next season’s transfer budget and which current players Saunders wants to spearhead a possible League One promotion push.

Whether the club will continue with its controversial transfer policy is also likely to be discussed.

Saunders insisted this week that the club’s loan policy - dubbed ‘the experiment’ - had injected life into Doncaster’s season.

But he also admitted that the huge influx of loan arrivals, arranged by agent-turned-consultant Willie McKay, has been a difficult situation to manage.

Rovers’ boss also stated he will not shy away from the huge rebuilding job awaiting him in the summer - with more than half of Doncaster’s squad out of contract in June.

Saunders said: “There’s two ways of looking at it [the experiment].

“Either we’ve not done well enough or we could have been relegated a long time ago.

“Have they [the loan players] injected some life?

“I don’t think you can argue with Piquionne, Diouf, Ikeme and Beye.

“To get players like that to come and play for us when we’re bottom of the league - I don’t think anybody can argue with those players.

“They’ve come into a difficult situation,” he added.

“It’s not been easy to manage either - but it’s a challenge for me and you’ve got to keep on going.”

Chairman John Ryan told the Free Press in January that should Rovers lose their Championship status it would be “doubtful” that the experiment would continue.

Wembley hero James Hayter, John Oster, Simon Gillett and Sam Hird are among a host of players out of contract this summer.

But Rovers may also find it difficult to hold onto several players still under contract - with the likes of James Coppinger, Brian Stock and Kyle Bennett certain to attract interest.

Saunders said: “I know what is needed with the team. I know what our faults are.

“If you haven’t got any money, it can take three years. If you have got money, it can take less time.

“If you look at Nigel Clough at Derby, he spent the first two years getting rid of 43 players.

“There’s a lot out of contract but there’s plenty still under contract.

“What happens all depends on what the budget is.

“I have got a plan in my head and I have got to build my own team, he added.

“Sometimes if you have to take a step back to go forward, that’s what you have to do.

“I have not put one building brick in place yet.”