Doncaster Rovers must wait on Wolves keeper Ikeme

Rovers' goalkeeper Carl Ikeme applauds the fans at the end of the Barnsley match at Oakwell.
Rovers' goalkeeper Carl Ikeme applauds the fans at the end of the Barnsley match at Oakwell.

CARL Ikeme’s proposed return to Doncaster Rovers is on hold while Wolverhampton Wanderers continue their search for a new manager.

Rovers and Wolves had a “gentlemen’s agreement” that the 25-year-old goalkeeper would return to the Keepmoat Stadium upon regaining full fitness, Dean Saunders told the Free Press this week.

Ikeme, who kept two clean sheets in five appearances for Rovers before the turn of the year, is now fit again after undergoing hand surgery.

But Mick McCarthy’s dismissal - and Wolves’ so far fruitless search for a new boss - means Rovers must wait to find out if the agreement still stands.

David Button’s latest loan contract at Doncaster expires after Saturday’s game with Peterborough United.

The Spurs youngster has impressed Saunders - but Rovers’ boss rates Ikeme as the best goalkeeper currently available in the loan market.

Veteran Neil Sullivan has returned to light training after also recovering from a hand injury but Saunders is anxious to secure Ikeme’s services.

Wolves are thought to have failed with a fresh attempt to make Alan Curbishley their new manager this week, while Reading boss Brian McDermott and Brighton’s Gus Poyet have also been linked with the post.

Rovers will again have to make do without James Coppinger on Saturday but the winger could return against Brighton next weekend.

Martin Woods is rated as 50/50 after missing the trip to Leeds with a knee injury, while Tommy Spurr was set to return to training today after feeling the effects of a nasty clash of heads with Leeds’ Robbie Rogers.

Doncaster will welcome back defender Habib Beye from suspension against Peterborough.

Saunders said: “It’s a big boost to have Habib available again and we’ve got to get back to the way we were defending before shipping six in the last two games.

“We’ve just got to keep plugging away.

“We’ve got nine games in March so the league table could change completely.

“I felt sorry for the fans on Saturday because they’ve had a lot of pain to put up with.

“They probably felt we had Leeds beaten when our second goal went in, and what happened was a real kick in the teeth for all of us.

“But we’ve got to pick ourselves up for Peterborough.

“There were lots of positives from the performance at Elland Road and we need to take them into Saturday.”