DONCASTER Rovers’ boss Sean O’Driscoll is looking for his charges to get back on track in tonight’s pre-season local derby against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane following Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Brunton Park.
“I’m looking for a better performance than at Carlisle,” he said. “We looked like a team which had trained too much and not played enough games. It is always difficult to get that balance.”
“United are local neighbours and it will be a different sort of atmosphere to Carlisle. It should be a game which should be a bit more competitive and a bit more nearer the mark as to what is going to happen in the Championship.”
O’Driscoll, who has released the bulk of the trialists who have played in recent games, will take another look at young defender Rachid Bouhenna in tonight’s game before making a decision on his future.
“I’ve told his agent that if he was a 20 year-old English player we’d take him tomorrow,” he said. “We’ve got one or two outstanding things to do before making a decision.
“I think he’s done well enough to deserve a contract and he’ll play in tonight’s game and then I think his agent will demand a decision.”
One of the factors that O’Driscoll has to weigh up is the fact that the Algerian defender doesn’t speak English, although Doncaster College have offered help in that respect.
“We’d like to sign him if we possibly could,” said O’Driscoll. The Doncaster boss left former Preston striker Chris Brown out of the side to visit the Cumbrians in order to work on his fitness at the training ground, but he is likely to have another run out in tonight’s game.
O’Driscoll revealed that although he had been interested in Brown since he parted company with the Lancashire club at the end of the season, it was only the money received from the sale of former defender Matt Mills, recently transferred from Reading to Leicester, that enabled a deal to be done,
Midfielder Mark Wilson, whose only outing in pre-season was the game at Barrow, faces several more weeks on the sidelines after a scan revealed that he has suffered a slight tear to his calf.
Spurs prospect Ryan Mason also picked up a slight leg injury during the Premier League club’s pre-season tour to Portugal last week.
Rovers, who are keen to bring the England Under-19 international - out of contract at the end of the season - back to the club on loan next season, are monitoring the situation.
“The plan is to bring him in for the Grimsby game on Friday if he is fit or the start of next week in training,” said O’Driscoll.
O’Driscoll admits that any loan deal could only last until the January transfer window when both Spurs and Mason are likely to consider their options.