DEAN Saunders has been boosted by international clearance coming through for defender Lamine Diatta.
The former Senegal international joined Rovers last week on a short-term deal and, although training with them, any chance of a game was put on hold whilst the clearance formalities were undertaken.
They were finalised last night and Diatta is now available to Saunders.
“He’s an experienced player who has played at the World Cup,” said the Rovers’ boss of the 36-year-old.
“He wasn’t with anyone so he is available straightaway to us and we do need all the bodies we can get.”
Diatta, who made a couple of appearannces at Newcastle three years ago and previously trained at Stoke, has been playing in France.
Meanwhile, Saunders has put a positive slant on Rovers’ latest setback and believes it can spur the club to better results.
In addition, he believes lessons learned from the defeat at Birmingham will aid them as they seek to climb out of the danger zone.
“We have to take good points from games like that and we can certainly do that,” said Saunders.
“Birmingham have a lot of Premiership quality players and it is a tough place to go but we acquitted ourselves well.
“That has to stand us in good stead as well look ahead and provided we learn from it too.
“We were a little too open at times and, later on, when they were pushing strongly, we dropped too deep trying to keep them out. We paid the price and we’ve to learn from that,” he added.
He’s been joined in his upbeat assessment by skipper Brian Stock who admits he has been encouraged by the last two performances.
“We had a great result against Southampton and we’ve shown the same determination and desire on Saturday as we did in that game,” he said. “We were up against a side who haven’t lost all season, have been playing in the Europa League, and so we knew it would be tough.
“But we pushed them, created chances and it has to encourage us. It’s up to us to keep up the performance levels of the past couple of games. Do that and we can pick up points.”
On Saturday, Rovers are at home to Leicester who recently appointed former Hull boss Nigel Pearson.
Rovers’ youngsters have a big date tomorrow when they face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the FA Youth Cup.