Rovers: Doncaster star Oster faces months out

Rovers: Doncaster Rovers latest news, reports and more.
Rovers: Doncaster Rovers latest news, reports and more.
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“We’ve sold just under 1,200 so far for Tuesday’s trip to Doncaster. Thank you to all our loyal fans!”

John Oster is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines due to a neck problem which will require surgery.

The Doncaster Rovers midfielder has been suffering in recent weeks with what was believed to be a neck strain in recent weeks.

However, it has emerged the injury is more serious, and manager Dean Saunders has revealed that he has disc trouble.

He said: “He has two bulging discs, they have been touching a nerve and the outcome is that he will require an operation to correct the problem.”

He is set to go under the knife next week which will mean the 32-year-old being ruled out for two to three months. This afternoon, Rovers will aim to avoid a fourth successive Championship defeat in today’s home game against fellow strugglers Coventry City.

“It’s a real six-pointer but it’s a game we believe we can win,” said skipper George Friend.

“I understand they haven’t won away this season and every little advantage helps, let’s keep it that way.

“They are getting the ball down this season and trying to play football.

“That will be a first for me playing against them because they previously played the long ball game. But I’m not worried how they play because I know if we play well and we are strong defensively then we can deal with whatever.

“Obviously we are disappointed coming into the game on the back of three defeats.

“But I thought we played well at Blackpool and were unlucky not to get a result. I thought we played well in patches at Portsmouth.

“It’s a pity we couldn’t play like it for the full 90 minutes.

“It was a long way back afterwards but the manager told us to put it behind us and move on.

“It has been one of our problems and I don’t know what the answer is - if I did I would be a manager - because it’s not as though we’ve been playing well in the first half and poorly in the second half. It has been the other way round on occasions.”

Friend, outstanding for most of the season, agrees that his standards have dropped slightly in the last two games.

“But if I want to be a consistent performer, I need to keep my standards high,” he added. “Today’s game is the first of back-to-back home games - it’s Middlesbrough on Tuesday - and we’ve got to be looking to try to pick up six points from them.”

He added: “This is a very tough league and at a minimum, you have to compete for the full 90 minutes if you are going to stand a chance of winning games. The spirit in the camp has remained high and the manager and backroom staff are keeping everyone in high spirits.”

* Mark Wilson has joined Walsall on a month’s loan. The midfielder, who is out of contract with Rovers at the end of the season, is set to stay with the League One outfit until November 29.