DONCASTER Rovers boss Sean O’Driscoll has paid tribute to much-derided rival manager Steve McClaren.
The pair will go head-to-head tonight when Rovers pit their wits against Nottingham Forest.
Forest have had their problems, so far.
They lost strikers Nathan Tyson and Robert Earnshaw during the close season and have Dexter Blackstock out injured, picking up just one point - from a 0-0 home draw against Barnsley - on the opening day of the season.
They also drew a blank in front of goal in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Millwall when they didn’t manage one shot on goal.
O’Driscoll said: “Apparently they played really well against Millwall from a possession point of view, but probably failed in the final third.
“Their manager Steve McClaren has gone out and signed two centre-forwards in Ishmael Miller and Andy Derbyshire - one of whom is really powerful and the other really skilful, so you can see what he is trying to do and before long they’ll get it right.
“Steve McClaren is a top-class manager and I think like everything else he needs time.
“Chopping and changing managers to get where you want to get doesn’t work; you’ve got to stick with something that you can grow.
“They’ve been really close on the last two or three occasions of giving themselves a chance to get into the Premier League and I don’t think that they’ll be that far off come the end of the season.”
Rovers’ lack of squad depth means O’Driscoll must select from the the same group of players used last Saturday, tonight.
O’Driscoll said: “When you look at the strength of the squad on Saturday we could do with two or three people coming in to give us a balance or to give us a bit of strength in depth. I don’t think that we’ve got enough finance for that to happen, so where do you go? We are short in the full-back area and we are short in the striking area. Arguably we are not too bad off in midfield in terms of bodies, though maybe in terms of balance we are struggling a bit.
“It’s where you pitch your resources and it’s been a difficult one to come up with a name which maybe ticks a few boxes rather than just one.”
Rovers go into tonight’s game hoping it will be a case of third time lucky after back-to-back league defeats -although O’Driscoll felt that there was a lot of positives to come out of Saturday’s 1-0 defeat. Particularly Rovers second half display during which both Simon Gillett and James Coppinger went close to an equaliser. The two teams shared a brace of 1-1 draws last season.