DONCASTER Rovers boss Dean Saunders is looking for his side to upset the odds in tonight’s Capital One Cup third round tie against Norwich City at Carrow Road.
“You can look at the game two ways,” said Saunders whose brace helped Aston Villa to beat Manchester United 3-1 in the 1994 final. “You can think we are going to play a Premier League club and we could get hammered or the other way of looking at it is to think that we could go there and cause what most people think would be a surprise victory, and what a result that would be if we beat them.
“If we were to get through we might finish up with a home game on television against a really big club in the next round.”
Despite his optimism ahead of tonight’s game, Saunders also accepts that Rovers have a big job on their hands if they are to beat the Canaries for the first time at Carrow Road, where their best result is a 1-1 draw in a Championship clash two years ago.
“If they play well and we play well then they are going to win,” admitted the Welshman. “What we have to do is to stop them playing well while at the same time play well ourselves.”
Saunders says that Rovers can take confidence from the battling qualities they showed in the second round when they came from behind to beat Championship outfit Hull City 3-2 at the Keepmoat Stadium.
“I’ve got to be honest and say that after we’d gone 2-0 down after 10 minutes I was thinking that we were going to end up getting beaten by five or six if I didn’t sort it out and stop the flow and we managed to beat them with a late goal by David Syers,” he said.
Saunders reports that striker Billy Paynter remains a doubt after suffering some adverse reaction to last Thursday’s training session, but that midfielders Paul Keegan and Martin Woods, who both picked up knocks in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Stevenage will both come into contention.
Although keen for the cup run to continue - not least to help boost the club’s coffers - Saunders also has one eye on Saturday’s League One visit to Leyton Orient.
He has already decided that the squad will remain in the area before travelling on to London at the weekend to aid their preparation.
He also admitted that he would be making changes. He also expects his Norwich counterpart Chris Hughton to do likewise given his side face Liverpool on Saturday.