Hard work is the key, says Saunders

Rovers' James Hayter scores to make it 1-0. Picture: Andrew Roe
Rovers' James Hayter scores to make it 1-0. Picture: Andrew Roe

DEAN Saunders has played down talk about victory over Barnsley being down to the battling spirit of Rovers’ ‘old-guard’, writes Paul Goodwin.

Nine out of Doncaster’s starting eleven were players who played under Sean O’Driscoll, and there were rare starts for goalscorers James Hayter and Kyle Bennett.

But Saunders said: “I don’t really know why so much has been made out of it.

“If you look at the teams I picked against Southampton and Leicester there wasn’t a great deal of difference.

“Everybody is treated the same here and if the lads work hard and do what I ask them they’ll get a chance in the team.

“All the lads here have become different players since I took the job.

“They’re under different instructions and they’ve got a different mentality.

“In the short term my job is to get the best eleven players out there on the pitch and working hard,” he added.

“There are signs that the lads are buying into what I’m trying to bring to the club.

“But we need to keep it going against Notts County.

“One swallow does not make a summer - and it’s important we keep that momentum going.”

George Friend, meanwhile, could be out for the rest of the season after suffering a medial knee ligament injury against Barnsley.

Saunders may also be forced into further changes for Saturday’s FA Cup third round tie at home to Notts County.

Rovers will need permission from their parent clubs to play new goalkeeper David Button, Habib Beye or Herold Goulon.

The loan trio will become cup tied by playing against the League One outfit.