Injury trouble rammed home

Ongoing problem: Injury woe at Rovers is causing a problem for Sean O'Driscoll.
Ongoing problem: Injury woe at Rovers is causing a problem for Sean O'Driscoll.
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DONCASTER Rovers’ boss Sean O’Driscoll will be checking on several players, including striker Billy Sharp and skipper Brian Stock, ahead of tonight’s rearranged game against fellow strugglers Derby County at Pride Park.

“Billy was a major doubt for last Saturday’s game and probably still is because (the problem) it is ongoing,” said O’Driscoll.

“Again with Brian it is day by day. Neither of them trained yesterday so we’ll see how they are this morning.”

O’Driscoll was still awaiting news of a scan on keeper Neil Sullivan’s ankle injury yesterday afternoon.

The former Scotland keeper pulled out of Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Watford after having problems kicking a ball on Friday and there are fears that he could be out for several weeks.

But said O’Driscoll: “Maybe we can stick some sort of anti-inflammatory injection in it; that might solve the problem. But until we get the results of the scan we won’t know.”

O’Driscoll, however, said that he was actively looking to bring in a keeper on loan.

“We’ve enquired about one or two people but they were injured themselves,” he said.

Rovers take on a Derby side whose boss Nigel Clough is one of several Championship managers reportedly under mounting pressure.

“We are all under pressure, whether it is external or internal,” said O’Driscoll. “They had a good win against Sheffield United, another team under pressure.

“I suppose that they are a bit like ourselves. They did well and then struggled with injuries and then changed.”

The Rams also lost midfield star Kris Commons to Celtic in January.

“He was a quality player in this division and in tight games he was always capable of popping up with a goal,” said O’Driscoll.

“In the first part of the season they played Kris in a role which made him very difficult to deal with.”

“But they’ve made several good loan signings. Daniel Ayala is a good signing from Liverpool.

“Like him or loathe him, Robbie Savage is always influential and has an affect on probably every game he plays so you can’t discount him.

“The two lads (Paul Green and Gareth Roberts) they took from us were terrific players and did really well for us.”

O’Driscoll is also aware of the threat posed by new loan signings - strikers Jamie Ward and Theo Robinson, whose goal at Bramall Lane on Saturday secured the Rams their first win since New Year’s Day.

Said O’Driscoll: “Both players are similar in that that they are a box of tricks.”

He added: “Although we do our homework on the opposition we’ve really got to concern ourselves about what we’ve done in our last two games and try and maintain that because it gives us a fighting chance.

“We’ve been competitive in our last two games whereas we weren’t in the Portsmouth game and definitely not in the Swansea game.

“You’ve got to make sure that you do the basics right in these sort of games. It usually comes down to somebody switching off or somebody not doing the job they were supposed to rather individual brilliance.

“When you are fighting it is usually down to how dogged you can be and we’ve been dogged in the last two.

“It depends on what team we can put out - if we can be competitive we’ll be in with a chance.”