Boss thanks fans

Rovers celebrate. Picture: Steve Uttley
Rovers celebrate. Picture: Steve Uttley

Sean O’Driscoll praised his players - and the fans - after his team had picked up a point against all the odds at promotion chasing Norwich City.

Injury ravaged Rovers were without 13 first team players but skipper Brian Stock made an unexpected return to boost the side who came from behind to earn a 1-1 draw.

Rovers played much better than they did in the 3-0 defeat at Swansea, where they barely landed a shot on target, but O’Driscoll was pleased for the fans as much as anything after the match.

He said: “To be fair we were poor at Swansea but the supporters stuck behind us all the way, which we possibly didn’t really deserve.

“It really brings it home to you when the fans are like that.

“The Swansea supporters were chanting ‘you’re getting sacked in the morning’ at me but our fans just sang ‘there’s only one Sean O’Driscoll’ straight back at them.

“You would have to be fairly emotionless not to react to something like that.

“On Tuesday night at Norwich they were behind us all the way again despite us going a goal down and the players really appreciated it.

“It was a bit embarrassing to produce the performance we did for the fans at Swansea but hopefully we rewarded the supporters who made another long journey on Tuesday night with something to feel happier about.”

Although they deserved to take something from the game Rovers had to rely on an own goal seven minutes from time for their first point in five matches when home defender Adam Drury headed a corner from John Oster into his own net.

Top scorer Billy Sharp could return to boost the strike force at home to Watford on Saturday after a groin injury.

But O’Driscoll said there was a danger of rushing players back before they were ready and he would not play him unless he felt he could get through the game.

He said: “Knowing Billy he will be champing at the bit to get back.

“But he has to be responsible - and we have to be responsible for him - when it comes to deciding his fitness level.

“The last thing we want is for him to aggravate anything and to be out longer than necessary.”

Stock returned after recovering from a back injury but then suffered a knock on the ankle and had to go off on the hour mark.

O’Driscoll said it was “touch and go” whether he would be fit for Saturday’s match.

The Doncaster boss brought in two loan players before the Swansea game - veteran Jamaican international striker Jason Euell and former Belgian Under 18 star Franck Moussa from Blackpool and Leicester respectively.

And he did not rule out the possibility of another loan signing before Saturday’s game.

He said: “Franck has come straight in and done very well.

“He plays with a great deal of enthusiasm and is a willing worker in midfield.

“Jason has been there and done it and it’s up to us to find the best way of utilising the strengths he has while he is here.”

Both men will make their home debuts on Saturday when club chairman John Ryan intends to sit with the fans behind the goal in the South stand to drum up support.

The Rovers chief said: “The fans have been brilliant away and we need them behind us and just as vocal at home.

“I’ll be bringing some of the other directors with me and we’ll be singing our hearts out for the team.”

Watford and Derby County, who Rovers visit in a rearranged fixture next Tuesday night, have both been going through lean patches themselves.

The Hornets were in the top six in mid-January but have gone eight games without a victory since and were beaten 3-1 at home to Bristol City on Tuesday night.

Derby have gone nine matches without a win but were the first side to win at the Keepmoat this season when they came out on top 3-2 in a thriller in October.

O’Driscoll said: “There is a fine dividing line between success and failure in this league.

“But what it all boils down to is how disciplined and organised you are when it comes to match day. We were lacking at Swansea and we have to make sure we focus and play more like we did on Tuesday night.”