Brian out of Stock for Watford trip

Brian Stock
Brian Stock

THE absence of Brian Stock through suspension is Rovers’ main selection concern as they prepare for the New Year’s Eve trip to Watford.

Stock will serve his one match ban for picking up his fifth yellow card at Burnley on Boxing Day.

His most likely replacement is Herold Goulon who was among the substitutes at Turf Moor.

But Dean Saunders could shuffle the pack with recent starters Giles Barnes, Simon Gillett and Herita Ilunga all able to fill a holding midfield role.

Saunders admitted it was a blow to lose Stock, who has impressed in recent weeks.

He said: “Stocky’s been playing well.

“He’s looking miles fitter and stronger, which all the lads are, so it’s a blow to lose him.

“Obviously we’ll miss him but it’ll give someone else a chance to play.

“We’re in a lot better shape than we were last week because we’ve got a few players back.”

El Hadji Diouf came through the game at Burnley okay and was withdrawn late on as a precaution.

Martin Woods is close to a return to action following his long term injury problems.