Stock focus on survival

Relegation alert: We must guarantee our safety, says Rovers skipper Brian Stock.    Picture: Bruce Rollinson/Yorkshire Post
Relegation alert: We must guarantee our safety, says Rovers skipper Brian Stock. Picture: Bruce Rollinson/Yorkshire Post
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DONCASTER Rovers’ skipper Brian Stock missed out on selection for the Wales squad for this weekend’s Euro 2012 Qualifier against England at the Millennium Stadium.

But he believes he remains in new manager Gary Speed’s thoughts.

“I had a phone call from Gary Speed about being on stand-by for the squad so I still feel that I’m part of the squad even though I’m not in it,” he said.

“Maybe in recent games I’ve not been 100 per cent fit and looking ready for international football. They may have recognised that. I don’t know. Maybe my performances haven’t warranted a full call-up.

“Of course I want to play in the big games. You want to play against England.

“It is a lifelong ambition to play in an international at Wembley. It is every kid’s dream.

“He (Speed) asked me about being called up for the previous squad when a couple of players pulled out, but unfortunately I’d done my ankle - I think it was the Norwich game - and I had to rest it for three or four days and so couldn’t meet up with the squad.”

Unless he is drafted into the Welsh side for this weekend’s game, Stock’s next outing will be for Rovers against Championship rivals Bristol City at Ashton Gate on Saturday week. It’s a tough place to get a result,” he said. “I’ve not had many good results there during my career, but if we show the character and the discipline we showed against QPR on Saturday then we’ll do okay.

“If you take the game against Leeds at Elland Road, where a lot of players were tired, out of the equation, then we’ve done well in recent away games. We got a good result (1-1) at Norwich, beat Derby at Pride Park and drew 0-0 with Nottingham Forest. They were three tough places to go but we’ve gone there and performed and I can’t see why we can’t do that against Bristol City.”

Stock says it is imperative that Rovers don’t come away empty-handed.

“We want to guarantee our safety in this league,” he said. “It’s a tough league and nothing is guaranteed even though we are a few points clear of the drop zone.

“We need to win games. If we don’t win any of our remaining games then there would be the chance that we will be relegated.

“We certainly can’t afford to rest on our laurels because we are a few points clear because the likes of Sheffield United are beating teams who recently beat us 5-2.

“Teams like United are scrapping for their lives because if they were get relegated it would affect the players’ careers and the money they are earning.

“Preston are at the bottom but they have won their last two and you just can’t write anyone off.

“You’ve got teams who are fighting for promotion; you’ve got teams who are battling for survival and teams who have nothing really to play for. Sometimes they’ve got the freedom to go out and try things and they can be hard teams to play against.

“I honestly don’t know how many points we need - it depends on how other results go - but two or three wins and we might be safe.

“The main thing in my mind is to stay in this league, which we have done in the last couple of years. Having been plagued with injuries this year if we can stay up again it would be another great achievement for the club considering the budget and the size of the squad.

“There was a big belief that maybe we could get into the top six this season But, as I say, we’ve been plagued by a lot of injuries to key players and so much misfortune and I’ve never known anything like it. I don’t like making excuses as a player but such things factor into the equation.”