THE two-week international break has come at the right time for Doncaster Rovers, Mickey Walker, the club’s director of football, has claimed.
Despite a brave and gutsy second-half fightback at home to Bristol City, Sean O’Driscoll’s men are bottom of the Championship after garnering just one point from five league outings after a gruelling August schedule.
A spate of injuries for the second year on the trot have deprived O’Driscoll of some of his top performers, including the club’s record signing Billy Sharp.
The former Sheffield United forward is unlikely to return to first-team duty until the end of the month.
In the opening weeks of the 2011/12 campaign, midfielders Brian Stock, Mark Wilson and James Coppinger have also been nursing injuries while Ryan Mason, Martin Woods and James Chambers remain long-term absentees as Rovers face another battle to beat the drop.
At some stages last year, Rovers had as many as 12 senior players in the treatment room.
Given the shortage of his options, it was no surprise O’Driscoll dipped into the loan market to beef up his squad last month and captured Reece Brown and Milan Lalkovic from Premier League aristocrats Manchester United and Chelsea respectively.
Walker believes the break may enable Rovers to get some of their injured stars back for the daunting away double header at Cardiff City and Reading starting on September 10: “With a bit of luck, hopefully some of our injured players will train and be ready to play after the break,” he told The Star.
“Some of them are on the way back so the break is a bonus in that respect.
“It is hard when you are missing some of your best players.
“We just have to keep working hard together as a group to turn it around.”