HAVING tasted their first defeat in eight games against Crewe on Tuesday night, Doncaster Rovers will be looking to bounce back in Saturday’s League One clash against Bournemouth.
But the home game against the Cherries is likely to be a lot tougher than had they faced the Dean Court club a month ago admits striker Billy Paynter.
“The chairman, or somebody has put some money in of late and they’ve decided that they are going to have a go for it,” he told The Star.
“They’ve brought manager Eddie Howe back from Burnley, having paid them a large compensation fee, so that for a start shows that they mean business.
“As does the fact that he was prepared to drop down a division from the Championship. He’s been there before of course. He played for them for many years before going on to become the club’s manager.
“So he knows all about the place - he will have worked with some of the players before - and both those things have helped him to settle in quickly.
“He also has the money to strengthen the squad. I’ve played with a couple of their players, Tommy Elphick from Brighton and Simon Francis from Southend. Tommy is a good centre-back who is dangerous from set-pieces, Simon is a very good full-back who likes to get forward and he’s got a few goals over the years.
“They didn’t make the best of starts but they looked to have turned the corner. They still have some catching up to do but I think almost anyone in this league can find themselves up there and if they can put together a run of wins then they certainly can challenge for promotion. I’m sure that they’d be expecting to with the money they’ve spent.
“I know that they have been scoring goals but they’ve also been conceding them - that’s probably why they’ve brought in some defenders - and that could be due to the fact that they are trying to get at teams and leaving themselves open at the back. I’m sure that is something that the manager will be trying to address.
“I don’t think he’ll want to change the way they have traditionally played, but he might decide to do that with us having been playing well, prior to the Crewe game, looking solid as a team.
“Prior to Tuesday, we’d won our last three league games and things were going well and we’d climbed to fifth.
“We did well to come from behind to beat Brentford and that gave us a lot of confidence going into the two away games at Tranmere and Notts County. “All three strikers, Iain Hume, Chris Brown and myself, have been scoring goals of late and there is healthy competition for places, which is what you want at a club. You want your forwards to be scoring.
“I think the manager can perm any two from three because we’ve all shown that we can play alongside each other in different formations.”