LIKE the rest of his team-mates, Doncaster Rovers defender Tommy Spurr is hoping to deliver an early Christmas present for the club’s supporters in the form of three points in tomorrow’s home game against MK Dons.
But he knows that the club could hardly have asked for tougher opponents than the Dons for their last home game of 2012.
“I think it will be a tough game,” said Spurr, who is proving to be a £200,000 bargain buy from the Owls.
“They have got some good players and are a good passing team who are patient on the ball.
“They don’t concede a lot of goals, either, especially at home so we are probably going to have to be patient when it comes to trying to break them down.
“It will all depend on whether they are going to come here and sit in and try and catch us on the break or whether they will have a go at us as Coventry did on Saturday.
“I know tomorrow’s game only marks the halfway stage of the season but because they are just below us in the table I don’t think that it is too early to describe it as a six-pointer.
“Especially as they’ve lost in the League One play-offs for the last two years and they look like being there or thereabouts this season.
“It will be tough but I think that we are going to have to be on our game to get a result against them.”
Rovers go into the game on the back of a 4-1 defeat against the Sky Blues at the Keepmoat Stadium.
“Obviously it would have been better to be going into tomorrow’s game having beaten Coventry but we always take it one game at a time,” said Spurr.
Tomorrow’s game kicks-off the club’s four-match festive programme with back-to-back games away games against Oldham and Preston North End before playing host to Sheffield United on New Year’s Day.
Spurr says that Rovers are keen for revenge against the Latics and the Lilywhites having lost to both sides.
Oldham recently dumped Rovers out of the FA Cup at Boundary Park, while Preston inflicted a 3-1 defeat on them - their biggest reversal this season prior to the Coventry game.
“I didn’t play at Oldham but those who did say that we owe them one,” said Spurr.
Despite dropping two places to fourth as a result of the Coventry defeat and other results on the day, Rovers are still better placed going into the often crucial festive programme than many fans probably expected would be the case given the exodus of leading players during the close season.
But Spurr, one of the players manager Dean Saunders was delighted to keep hold off, says he always had confidence in the squad put together by the Welshman.
“I’m not surprised at where we are when you look at the players we’ve got,” he said.
“We don’t have a big squad but we’ve got players who are on the bench who can come in and do just as well as those in the starting eleven.
“They are helping to keep the players in the team on their toes which is what you want in such a tough league with clubs down to ninth or tenth, and the odd one below that, all in contention.
“It’s not going to be easy and we’ve got some tough games coming up in the second half of the season.
“Even though we’ve been as high as second we haven’t played well in some of the games in which we’ve picked up points. But we know that if we do start playing better in the second half of the season, as I think we will, we’ll be hard to beat.”
MK Dons manager Karl Robinson, meanwhile, has confirmed former Leeds, Manchester United and Newcastle player Alan Smith will take charge when they play Aylesbury in the Berkshire and Buckinghamshire County Senior Cup next week.
The experienced striker has been handed the role of player-manager for the quarter-final tie on Wednesday night.
“As the manager of this club it is my job to develop the players but also the coaching staff too,” said Robinson.
“Alan is keen to get his hands dirty and while he is still a key player for us, I think this is an excellent opportunity for him to see the other side of the game with Wrighty (Ian Wright).