rovers set for a rest

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DONCASTER Rovers failed to put a spoke in Queens Park Rangers’ promotion bandwagon, going down 1-0 in their Championship clash at the Keepmoat Stadium.

After finishing the first half on top, and making a bright start to the second, Rovers fell behind on 48 minutes to a goal by Hogan Ephraim.

“They shut up shot up shop after going ahead and they did it really well and dictated what happened,” said Rovers No 2 Richard O’Kelly.

“It was a mark of experienced professionals, who know what they are doing and who have seen it and done it before.

“We were quite pleased that (Adel) Taarabt wasn’t playing. But they bring in Hogan Ephraim, who was a boy we followed throughout his career at West Ham. He is bright and lively and he’s got a trick in him and he knows where the goal is.

With Ephraim, Tommy Smith and Wayne Routledge they are three very dangerous players in this division. They rotate in and out and are very difficult to pick up, but I thought that we coped well until they scored.

“They are a big side and I suppose the main disappointment today was our set plays. We tended to lump it in there which is a bit unlike us; we are normally a little bit brighter on the ball and look to play a bit more.

“That was disappointing, but the rest of our performance after the first ten minutes was very good and there were definitely more plusses than minuses.

“We are getting a few players back from injury and we had the best bench we’ve had for a very long time.

“The fact that Dennis Souza, who has been an integral part of the squad, couldn’t even get in it today speaks volumes.

“We’ve now got a break due to the international weekend and after the number of games we’ve had in recent weeks, it is just what the doctor ordered.

“We’ll be doing some work on teamwork and we’ll probably give the players the weekend off before starting to prepare for the game at Bristol City on Saturday week.”

The game marked the end of the initial loan spell of both Leicester’s Franck Moussa and Blackpool’s Jason Euell.

“We are talking to both clubs and we want to keep them (until the end of the season), “ said O’Kelly.

“We couldn’t have hoped for a better three points, because it is a difficult place to come,” said Rangers’ boss Neil Warnock. “You always feel that bit nervous before the first goal goes in and they almost got in at the near post (in the first half). But when the goal went in I couldn’t see them scoring.”