DONCASTER Rovers’ first pre-season defeat in last night’s game at Rotherham United highlighted the urgent need for manager Dean Saunders to strengthen his squad.
But despite seeing his depleted side lose 2-1 Saunders remained upbeat.
“Of course you want to win; we had a lot of support here tonight, but I’m not going to let the defeat affect our progress throughout pre-season because we had half a team out there,” said the Welshman.
“We did a lot of good things and played good football and we had some good chances, particularly in the first half.
“Some of the players got their first 90 minutes, including Robbie Blake.”
Midfielder Paul Keegan, the only out-of-contract player to be given a new deal, showed just why Saunders was keen to keep him in a dominant first half showing in midfield.
Keeper Gary Woods also came off with a calf strain, while James Coppinger was left out with a tight calf.
George Friend was again missing and looks to have played his last game for Rovers. Friend has spoken to Middlesbrough but Saunders said he had been told by his agent that another club could be poised to make a bid.