Doncaster: Rovers seek home gains

Rovers' Billy Paynter in action against Preston. Picture: Andrew Roe
Rovers' Billy Paynter in action against Preston. Picture: Andrew Roe
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DONCASTER Rovers boss Dean Saunders is predicting a tricky encounter with Shrewsbury Town this afternoon as the club look to rectify their woeful home form.

Rovers have won just two league matches at the Keepmoat Stadium in 2012, a record which is threatening to undermine a top-six push.

Having lost 3-1 on their own turf in midweek to Preston North End, Saunders is keen for his players to make amends against the Shrews.

“They [Shrewsbury] are doing okay,” he said. “They are going to be well organised because they’ve got a really experienced manager in Graham Turner, who has worked at the top level and who was owner and chairman at Hereford at one time.

“So he will have chosen the players he’s got wisely and he’ll be making sure that they are all working hard for their money.”

Saunders was disappointed Rovers let in two goals from corners against Preston - though he conceded they aren’t the first, and won’t be the last, to concede goals from set plays against the Deepdale club this season.

“They put seven players in the box and it’s hard to deal with,” he said. “Their second goal was virtually unstoppable.

“It was like Reading last season with Ian Harte’s delivery. If the delivery is right it’s hard to defend against.

“We’ve just got to try and tighten up on set-plays, but it’s not our defenders who are losing their men in the box, it is the midfielders and forwards. I’m still obviously ironing out problems.

“There are parts of the team not working like I want them to work but we will get stronger as the season goes on.”

With Iain Hume available again after missing the Preston game and Billy Paynter fit-again following a thigh injury, Saunders is likely to have a selection headache deciding which of them to pair with Chris Brown.

Hume impressed Saunders when capping a lively display at Leyton Orient last weekend with a goal and Paynter also caught his eye against Preston.

“I thought Billy looked better the longer the game went on,” he said. “It’s going to take him a few games to get where he wants to be but goals would also help; If you are banging the goals in it gives you confidence.”

* Former Chelsea and Leeds United midfielder Michael Woods has penned a short-term deal with Rovers. He is eligible to play in competitive matches.