Rovers 1 Saints 0: Saunders hails defensive display

DEAN SAUNDERS
DEAN SAUNDERS

DEAN Saunders is looking forward to sleeping more easily after watching his side keep their second consecutive clean sheet at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Loan star Habib Beye again collected the man of the match award and his central defensive partner Sam Hird was equally impressive as Rovers managed to successfully shut out the division's top scorers.

Goalkeeper Carl Ikeme again looked assured between the sticks, while James O'Connor and Brian Stock also put in their best performances of the season.

Saunders said his side's defensive display was the highlight of a confidence-boosting performance against the top of the table Saints.

He said: "I've not been able to sleep because of our defending.

"We've given away daft goals far too often and it's cost us dearly.

"But we saw the game out well today - and in the back of our minds we probably remembered what happened to us at Blackpool.

"So at least we're learning from our mistakes and making progress.

"Habib Beye was outstanding - he's probably the best defender these fans have seen play for their club.

"And Sam Hird had a very good game too, he has reacted well after I gave him a bit of a rollicking after the Millwall game.

"There were lots of good performances out there, now we need to build on this result at Birmingham.

"We probably got a bit of luck, meeting Southampton on a day they were without [Ricky] Lambert and [Richard] Chaplow," he added.

"But the lads worked hard and I thought they deserved the win."