Doncaster Rovers: Triple boost as Coppinger, O’Connor and Spurr return

Sharp: Kyle Bennett.
Sharp: Kyle Bennett.
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DONCASTER Rovers will not require the services of management duo Dean Saunders and Brian Carey in tonight’s pre-season game against Grimsby Town at Blundell Park.

James Coppinger, James O’Connor and Tommy Spurr, who all missed Saturday’s 4-2 win at Cleethorpes Town, did a full session yesterday.

And providing they report no adverse reaction at this afternoon’s light training session, they will all play against the Mariners.

Rovers could also have veteran striker Robbie Blake on duty.

He also missed Saturday’s game, with a tight thigh, but managed to get through most of yesterday’s session before being withdrawn as a precaution.

Both trialists on duty on Saturday, former Newcastle United midfielder Greg McDermott, and ex-Luton winger/striker Amari Morgan-Smith, are expected to feature again tonight.

Rovers boss Saunders says he will be looking for the team to build on Saturday’s win.

One man to catch the eye in the first half of Saturday’s game was Kyle Bennett. The former Bury man was all over the pitch but Saunders says that he still has things to learn.

“He has to improve his end product; he’s got to have more of a killer instinct,” said Saunders. “It is no good Kyle being a good player in the middle of the pitch; he has got to be deadly in the final third. He is that sharp that he should be getting us penalties and both scoring and making goals.

“We’ve got to continue to work with him but if he gets that into his game then we’ve got a player because if you ask any of our players who they don’t want to play against in training they’d all say Kyle. He’s got a low centre of gravity and he’s that sharp.”

Summer signings David Cotterill and David Syers will both get a further chance to impress Saunders tonight.

“I thought they both did well on Saturday,” said Saunders. “David Cotterill helped make the first goal and you could see that David Syers has got some energy and that he’s a goal threat.”

Saunders will also be looking to midfielders Martin Woods and Paul Keegan, who agreed a new rolling contract on the eve of the game, to build on promising performances.

“I thought Paul Keegan did well and Martin Woods got better the longer the game went on,” said Saunders. “If we can keep him fit then we’ve got a good player on our hands.”

Mustapha Dumbuya and Simon Gillett are included in Portsmouth’s pre-season trip to Gibraltar and Spain.

n Rovers: P39