FOOTBALL: Dean and gone!

Manager: Sean O'Driscoll.
Manager: Sean O'Driscoll.
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YOU could hardly make it up could you?

In his own words, chairman John Ryan stated yesterday that Doncaster Rovers “never do things the easy way”.

Doncaster Rovers' new boss Dean Saunders with Club chairman John Ryan.

Doncaster Rovers' new boss Dean Saunders with Club chairman John Ryan.

He’s certainly not wrong!

And fears are that Dean Saunders departure for Wolves could turn the promotion dream into a pipe dream.

Rovers got their wish for a quick turnaround in the decision-making process at Molineux, and with their own season finely balanced you can hardly blame them for demanding this.

Lessons have seemingly been learned from the spun out soap operas that surrounded former boss Sean O’Driscoll and his protracted talks with Burnley and Sheffield United, which seemed to have a negative impact on results.

It is quite an incredible turn of events that O’Driscoll looks to have been denied his dream job at Wolves by the man who replaced him at Rovers. Surreal almost.

But like Ryan eluded too, there always seems to be drama at Doncaster. It’s almost par for the course. There’s never a dull moment.

With Saunders’ exit, there is no underestimating the monumental effort it will take from a new manager to prevent the promotion push from de-railing.

Key men David Cotterill, Rob Jones and Iain Hume, to name just a few, joined Rovers primarily because of the Dean Saunders factor.

And only on Saturday tea-time, in the aftermath of a typically gritty win over Colchester, new recruit Lee Fowler described Saunders in glowing terms, almost as a father-like figure, who he had the utmost respect for.

Saunders is a down-to-earth, likeable, jovial character who the players enjoy having as boss.

He’s like one of the lads, still mucking in at the five-a-sides and enjoying the shooting practice.

But he doesn’t suffer fools gladly either.

There is a driven side to Dean Saunders, eager to better himself and with ambitions of returning to the Premier League. He’s a man who enjoys the limelight.

There is a danger that his departure will cause a very happy dressing room - one that was singing at full time at the weekend according to new boy Emile Sinclair - will go very quiet all of a sudden.

And Doncaster’s season, just as they threatened to hit all the right notes, will be in danger of going flat.

The new manager, regardless of who it is, will have his work cut out lifting the spirits of a squad in tune with Saunders’ motivational and tactical techniques.

New managers also like to surround themselves with their own players and staff. It could lead to a very disruptive January.

Having worked at the very top, at Newcastle, Blackburn and as a coach with Wales, Saunders is destined for the top.

As confident as he is, even Dean himself might admit that this opportunity has come sooner than he expected. But it was obviously an opportunity he could not pass up.

So now Rovers have to pick up the pieces. This weekend’s fast-moving developments have been more than enough distraction already.

They are a compliment to the work that Saunders and Rovers have done since a disastrous end to their Championship adventure.

Rovers’ response to the situation will determine if they can return to the Championship at the first time of asking.

It would have been tough if Saunders had stayed, but it will be a lot tougher now he’s gone.