Rovers go star gazing

Set for debut: Carl Ikeme
Set for debut: Carl Ikeme

DONCASTER Rovers, as exclusively revealed in The Star last month, are hoping to secure the services of St Etienne defender Moustapha Bayal Sall on a six-month loan in January.

Rovers No 2 Brian Carey watched the Senegalese star in action last weekend but manager Dean Saunders stressed yesterday that it wasn’t a done deal,

“It’s not 100 per cent certain,” he said. “We have made enquiries but a deal is never done until things are signed. We’ve got other options as well so we can pull out of things if we don’t want to do it.

“He’s a big strong player but he plays for St Etienne so I shouldn’t really be talking about him.”

He added: “The window opens in January and we’ve got a few options lined up. We’ve got irons in the fire all the time. It’s just a case of trying to persuade some really good players to come and play for us.

“We’ve had a few say no and others are thinking about it and they could say yes any time. One thing that I can guarantee is that they are all good players.

“I’ve got to make sure that if I do bring any players in it is because I need to bring them in and they are better than what we’ve got.

“If you get good players and they work hard you’ve got a good team; that’s the secret of football.

“I’ve got to spot the good players and try and get them into the squad and get them to work hard.

“We’ve got some good players at the club and they’ve got the message that we’ve all got to work hard. If we work hard and we are organised, and we get a bit of luck...We are definitely going to score goals.”

Although the chances of Rovers adding to their squad ahead of tomorrow’s local derby against Barnsley at Oakwell appear to be fading, Saunders is likely to give new loan signing from Wolves, Carl Ikeme, his debut.

“He’s a good goalkeeper,” said Saunders. “I felt that we needed strengthening in that department and we are glad to have him.

“He played some games for QPR last season and he played some for Middlesbrough this season and they had one of the best defensive records in the Championship for a while. I’ve seen him play myself so I know that he’s a good keeper and hopefully he will do well for us.”

Centre-back Adam Lockwood is pressing his claims for a return to action after a long injury lay-off, but influential midfielder Martin Woods faces further delays in his bid to return to action for the first time this season.

“He’s been working hard to try and come back in training but he’s still having discomfort in his groin,” said Saunders.

“He’s going to try and strengthen it for three weeks, which he has been doing, and to give it a blast. If that doesn’t do it then he might need to have another operation.”