DONCASTER Rovers boss Sean O’Driscoll, who will be checking on several players today, could decide to freshen things up in tonight’s Championship clash against visiting Coventry City.
Saturday’s 5-2 defeat against promotion-chasing Leeds United at Elland Road was Rovers 14th game in the last two months and O’Driscoll, feels that the gruelling schedule is begining to take its toll.
“We had one or two people playing on empty on Saturday, but you don’t know that until you kick-off, “ said the Doncaster boss. “No-one wants to admit that they feel tired and don’t want to play.
“It is difficult for the smaller teams to match the intensity of the bigger clubs week in week out, day in day out. You’d like to be able to rest players but you can’
Simon Gillett, yet to start following his return to the squad after successive medial knee ligament injuries, could come into the frame, as could Mark Wilson.
O’Driscoll has also got the option of starting with James Coppinger and James Hayter.
“They didn’t resume training until Friday so it wasn’t ideal to put them straight on the bench,” said O’Driscoll. “But like everyone else we’ve got fast-track people as quick as we can. Both got a few minutes on the pitch and both came through their cameo appearances.”
The Sky Blues, who were fourth in December, arrive at the Keepmoat with just one win to their name in 14 games and lost 4-1 at home against Bristol City on Saturday.
To add their misery, striker Marlon King was sent-off for violent conduct and will miss the next four games.
Fellow striker Clive Platt has missed the last couple of games and is doubtful for tonight.
Already without skipper Lee Carsley and Ben Turner since before Christmas, City could be forced to field an Academy keeper in goal. Regular keeper Keiren Westwood was injured in Saturday’s game and his replacement Danny Ireland suffered a similar hip/hamstring injury within four minutes of coming on.
Manager Aidy Boothroyd toyed with the idea of playing Aaron Gunnarson, who has played handball, in goal, but they patched Ireland up and he managed to see out the game. Both are rated doubtful for tonight’s game.
Midfielder Sammy Clingan made his return to the side on Saturday following a lengthy lay-off with a medial knee ligament injury but looked rusty.
“We’ve got to competitive tonight,” said O’Driscoll. “If we are we then we are in with a chance and if we aren’t we usually get beat.”