DONCASTER ROVERS: Dean Saunders works on response

Fitness battle: Martin Woods hopes to play against MK Dons.                          Picture: Steve parkin
Fitness battle: Martin Woods hopes to play against MK Dons. Picture: Steve parkin
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DONCASTER Rovers boss Dean Saunders started work yesterday on a ‘long list’ of things to work on ahead of Saturday’s home game against MK Dons.

“We were short all over the place against Coventry,” said Saunders reflecting on Saturday’s 4-1 home defeat the biggest of the season.

“A Championship forward (David McGoldrick) twice got to the ball first in the box (scoring on both occasions) and I just felt that we didn’t react as well as we could have when the second goal went in.

“I’ve got a group of honest players at the club but when we were having to chase the game we probably didn’t have the tools to do that. We kept giving the ball away on the break when we were trying to attack and then their system started to work a little bit.”

Although disappointed to see his side suffer their first defeat in six games, and miss the chance to top the table for the first time this season, Saunders claimed there were lessons to come out of the game.

“Sometimes you can get hoodwinked by results and you could see our weaknesses on Saturday,” he said. “But, to be fair, we’ve not defended like that all season.”

Saunders said he didn’t think the fact that Rovers were at home, where results haven’t been as good as those on the road this season, was a contributing factor.

“We just ran into a team on form and we didn’t show up,” he said.

The loss of leading scorer David Cotterill (stomach bug) after 25 minutes didn’t help Rovers’ cause and Saunders admits that he may have got it wrong asking the former Swansea star to start despite reporting in ill earlier in the day.

He is expected to return to action on Saturday, as could midfielders Martin Woods (thigh) and David Syers (ankle), who have both missed the last few games.

“They’ll both have a chance of being fit for Saturday,” Saunders told The Star. “They are probably 50-50.”

With Kyle Bennett having struggled to recapture the blistering form of early season on his return from a six-week lay-off with a knee ligament injury, Woods could come into Saunders’ plans if he proves his fitness.

“Woodsie did a good job for us playing on the left before he was injured,” said the Welshman.

Box-to-box midfielder Syers could also return to the starting line-up given the fact that the midfield looked sluggish on Saturday.

But Saunders is unlikely to ring the changes in his back-four even though he has the likes of Shelton Martis and Jamie McCombe waiting in the wings.