THE VERDICT: Saunders will be a hard act to follow

HOW Dean Saunders’ time at Doncaster Rovers will be remembered has been the subject of furious debate this week, writes Liam Hoden.

You only have to look at the Twitter conversation above to see that supporters are definitely split in their views.

I would suggest that – like Sean O’Driscoll before him – Saunders will be a hard act to follow.

Not in terms of popularity with supporters – his style of football ensured that – but instead in the dressing room.

Lee Fowler tore up a long term deal with Fleetwood Town simply to reunite with his former boss in the perfect demonstration of my point.

And the work Saunders put in following relegation last season has undoubtedly paid off with Rovers sitting joint top of League One when many would have accepted a season of consolidation.

Saunders’ reputation was blighted by his association with the Willie McKay experiment and the damage that did.

But while Rovers were a camp divided last season, this term they could not be more united.

The main characteristic of Saunders which has been brought up by former teammates this week is that he is a joker who will brighten up a dressing room.

He certainly managed to brighten up a dressing room that was under the blackest of dark clouds last season.

And he also laid down strict expectations.

Saunders crafted a small squad and instilled a never-give-up attitude that has seen them secure last gasp wins on several occasions this term.

That cannot be lost in what will prove to be four intense months ahead at the top of League One.

The appointment of Brian Flynn and Rob Jones as caretakers has proved popular with the squad but it was always going to be in truth.

Better the devil you know.

But if Flynn and Jones can prove to be more than just friendly faces and manage to maintain the work ethic, they might be the perfect team to follow in Saunders’ footsteps.