on the glory road

No let up: Dean Saunders expects Rovers to improve.                                     Picture: Steve Taylor.
No let up: Dean Saunders expects Rovers to improve. Picture: Steve Taylor.
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MANAGER Dean Saunders has told The Star he is happy Doncaster Rovers have stopped the rot away from home.

But the former Wrexham chief is refusing to get carried away by the bright start they have made under his stewardship.

Saunders was relieved to see his new charges pick up their first victory on the road in seven months at Peterborough United before the two-week international break.

Having accrued seven points from his opening three matches in charge, Saunders has steered Rovers out of the relegation zone and taken them up to 20th in the Championship table.

He fielded a strong side in the behind closed doors practice match at Manchester United yesterday and has been delighted with the commitment the players have given him in his first full week of training since succeeding Sean O’Driscoll.

Rovers saw off the Red Devils 1-0 thanks to a 16th minute strike from defender George Friend.

Now Saunders is calling on his squad to keep their unbeaten run going when they entertain Leeds United in a Sky-televised clash on Friday night.

“To get seven points is great and it is a good start for us,” he said. “We are off the bottom and if we can win three games on the trot we will be half way up the league. I expect to win every game. Realistically you can’t, but that is the way my mind works.

“I think it (winning away) is a monkey off the players’ back. Sometimes you get in a rut and all it needs is for a different voice to come along and give everyone a bit of a lift. The key now is to keep on getting better.

“It was a punch on the nose for some of the players when the previous manager went. A lot of them liked him so I have told them that’s football and you have to get over it.”

Saunders believes Lady Luck is starting to shine on Rovers and confidence is rising in the camp following the turnaround in their fortunes on the pitch.

He said: “Sometimes you make your own luck. John Oster’s goal against Crystal Palace was a classic example of that. He wouldn’t have shot another day but we have encouraged him to shoot. If he hadn’t shot, that would not have happened.

“Brian Stock scored an absolute screamer at Peterborough because we told him to get up there and join in. Kyle Bennett came on and caught them on the break and that was exactly what we wanted. Hopefully they believe in what I tell them and that will take us forward.”