Doncaster Rovers: Rams reunion in life of Brian

Brian Horton
Brian Horton

There will be a few familiar faces for several of the Rovers contingent when they travel to Derby County.

Not only will Doncaster striker Theo Robinson be lining up against his former club at the iPro Stadium but the game will also mark a reunion for assistant coach Brian Horton with Rams boss Steve McClaren and his number two Paul Simpson.

Horton first brought in midfielder McClaren at Hull City before reuniting with the former England manager at Oxford United years later.

That was also when an injury-ravaged footballing career came to an end for McClaren as a back problem saw him retire from the game early. Horton then offered him a full-time position at Oxford as a youth coach.

Simpson also played under Doncaster’s assistant at Oxford before he was sold to Derby County in 1992.

Despite looking forward to the reunion, Horton is adamant Doncaster - who have no new injury concerns - need to concentrate on their own game to stop a County side in stunning form of late.

“It’ll be a tough game, they’ve won six on the trot,” said Horton.

“I know all their staff really well and as a team they play good stuff.

“We know it’ll be tough but these are tough places to go to and we need to embrace them.

“We know they’ve got good players, Steve’s come in and he’s a top coach. Paul Simpson has managerial experience and they’ve got to come out and play. We’ve got to go and be positive.

“I’m looking forward to it. It’s a great stadium and these are the teams that you want to go out and play against.”

Horton watched Doncaster fall foul to a counter-attacking Leeds United outfit on Saturday to mark their tenth Championship defeat.

The ex-Manchester City boss wants Rovers to not repeat the same defensive errors which ultimately cost them in their 3-0 Yorkshire derby defeat.

“Three-nil looks like you’ve been hammered but we had 70 per cent possession, more shots, more corners, so in the Wednesday debrief it’s hard to be tough on the players.

“But the bottom line is we’ve conceded three goals I think should’ve been avoided.”