final push for rovers

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DONCASTER Rovers could secure their Championship status today if they pick up a result against Barnsley at Oakwell and other results go their way.

Preston’s resounding defeat at Millwall on Saturday eased the pressure on fifth-bottom Rovers, who remain five points clear of Scunthorpe with just three games remaining.

With Rovers boasting a far superior goal difference, a point against the Reds would be enough to put them beyond reach of the bottom three, who all face tough games today against promotion-chasing teams, were they to draw a blank in their respective games.

Rovers’ No 2 Richard O’Kelly said the club would be going to Oakwell - where they won last season courtesy of a James Coppinger goal - buoyed by their performance in Good Friday’s goalless draw against fellow strugglers Crystal Palace.

“What we did against Palace should give us some momentum,” said O’Kelly. “What you are always trying to do is build on a good performance and add a few little things to our game. Whether we need to add a few new bodies, we’ll decide after reflecting on how the players looked in training. We had a hard game on Friday and we’ve had a long season, so that might be the thing to do.”

Full-back Mustapha Dumbuya, who came off with a tight hamstring against Palace, is likely to face a late fitness test.

O’Kelly is hoping that Dumbuya, who had missed the two previous games with a similar problem, will be available for selection.

“He’d done well prior to going off and had looked a threat going forward,” he said.

Whereas Rovers picked up a point in the first of their two Easter holiday games, Barnsley finished empty-handed at Watford. Having already secured their Championship status, the Reds have little to play for except pride.

But O’Kelly has no doubt that Mark Robbins’ men will be up for today’s game.

“It’s a derby game and they have a lot more meaning to them I suppose,” he said. “We’ll be going there not expecting Barnsley to do us any favours and nor should they.

“Our fate is still in our own hands; it’s down to what we do.”

He added: “I’ve seen Barnsley a few times and the last time I saw them against Middlesbrough, they were outstanding.

“Every time I’ve seen them they’ve looked a well-organised team and they’ve got some good individuals so it should be a cracker.”