DONCASTER Rovers came close to pulling off what Dean Saunders claimed would probably have been the ‘best result’ of his managerial career at Ashton Gate,
Rovers looked dead and buried against fellow strugglers Bristol City after having former Premier League defender Habib Beye sent off just past the half-hour mark and conceding a second goal seconds later.
But that didn’t prove to be the case and the Robins were hanging on at the end as Rovers got a second wind after El- Hadji Diouf had pulled a goal back on 75 minutes: “We did well to get to half-time to keep the ball out of our net after going down to 10 men,” said Saunders.
“We went out with a plan in the second half and just battled and we nearly pulled it off. We didn’t buckle and we stuck together as a team and we ended up nearly getting a point out of it.
“We restricted them to shots from the edge of the box and I knew that we’d have two or three chances. El-Hadji scored a good goal and then Billy Sharp had a chance to make it 2-2. I thought it was in but the keeper made a great save and that’s why he’s played for England.
“So well done to all the players because they are up against it. But when you are fighting relegation, sometimes these things happen.
“I don’t want to get into trouble with the referees, and I don’t normally criticise them but the standards are poor. We just seem to be getting done every week by the officials.
“At the moment things just seem to be contriving against us. We are just getting bad decision after bad decision.
“I feel that I’m wasting a weeks’ work with the players because games are getting decided by the officials too often.
“If you make mistakes and don’t defend properly, fair enough, but I feel really aggrieved.
“I’ve just seen the two decisions on DVD. The referee has not even spoken to their player for the challenge on James Coppinger, and he’s had to go to hospital. Habib Beye has got his left leg tucked right underneath him so it’s not a two-footed tackle.
“He’s off the ground but so is their lad. How are you supposed to try and block a cross? He didn’t run directly at their lad; he’s lunged to try and block the cross.
“Their right-winger didn’t appeal for a foul and appealed for a throw-in and the linesman has actually given one.”
Saturday’s game marked the end of keeper David Button’s loan spell and Saunders plans to talk to Spurs and the player before making a decision on whether to look to try and extend his loan period.