DONCASTER Rovers assistant manager Richard O’Kelly is backing Neil Sullivan to bounce back from his howler in midweek.
The veteran goalkeeper made a rare blunder in the South Yorkshire derby defeat to Barnsley on Tuesday which condemned the club to a fourth straight loss.
Having already conceded one goal, Sullivan allowed Danny Haynes’ low effort to slip underneath his body and roll over the line as Rovers slumped to a second home defeat in a row.
Sullivan, who has made more than 620 appearances in an illustrious career, is expected to be retained by Rovers manager Sean O’Driscoll for Tuesday’s showdown with Burnley despite his inconsistent form in recent weeks.
There are growing concerns Sullivan maybe over the hill and that his best years are behind him.
But O’Kelly, Rovers number two, has launched a staunch defence of Sullivan and believes the 40-year-old still has plenty to offer the Championship club.
He told The Star: “Neil comes in and works hard every single day on the training ground. He has a fantastic attitude and I have no doubts that Neil will be ready and up for the challenge on Tuesday.
“He has done very well for us and is still doing well. You can count on one hand how many games he has not done well in. Neil performs like that because of the way he trains every single day.
“He is a fantastic professional and a top role model for youngsters out there on how to look after yourself and make sure you are ready for the next challenge.”
O’Driscoll will have to make one enforced change to his starting line-up against the Clarets, with Matt Kilgallon sidelined by a hamstring problem.
The York-born centre-half, who opted to join Rovers on a temporary basis from Sunderland earlier this month, limped off with 19 minutes remaining of the Barnsley clash.
He has returned to the north east to be given treatment by the Black Cats medical team. The former Sheffield United player is poised to be on the sidelines between two to three weeks.
“He’s back at Sunderland having a scan and we will know the results shortly,” added O’Kelly.
With Kilgallon ruled out, Sam Hird and Dennis Souza are in the frame to deputise and partner stand-in captain Adam Lockwood at the heart of O’Driscoll’s defence.
Rovers have not kept a clean sheet since the 3-0 success over Scunthorpe on New Year’s Day.