Liam Hoden’s Verdict: Chance to freshen up will help

Paul Keegan
Paul Keegan

DEAN Saunders proved at Selhurst Park he will not be afraid to shuffle his pack as he tries to find the formula for survival.

Fresh faces Paul Keegan and Fabien Robert made it into the starting XI and made a difference in the process.

Keegan looked like he had not missed a beat as he dictated the tempo from the centre of a five man midfield.

And although Robert looked a raw talent, there was no denying the excitement levels he brought as he charged at defenders.

Of the lesser seen players it was Chris Brown who made the most impact with his goal off the bench plus a great demonstration of his pure strength.

Brown offers something different from his fellow forwards and will be important over the next month.

All three of these players showed Saunders he has options and threw their hats in the ring with the message that they are up for the increasingly hard scrap ahead.

Results have not been any where near as positive as we would have hoped over the last couple of weeks and these have resulted in the slip to the foot of the table.

But the performance at Palace on Tuesday night was good enough to keep the flames of hope burning.

Birmingham on Friday will be difficult but Rovers have proved enough that when the going gets tough, they get going.

And the positive re-emergence of a few faces should only help that.

HODEN’S VERDICT: Rovers’ consistent positivity and confidence should stand them in good stead against a Birmingham side always likely to mis-step.