Rovers sign top striker

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DONCASTER Rovers’ boss Dean Saunders boosted his firepower ahead of last night’s emergency loan deadline with the signing of West Bromwich Albion striker Marc-Antoine Fortune.

The 30 year-old signed for Rovers yesterday afternoon, following talks with Rovers the previous day, and will train with his new team-mates today and will be included in the Rovers’ squad to entertain fellow strugglers Watford tomorrow.

The 30 year-old forward, who rejoined the Baggies from Celtic, has dropped down the pecking order following the arrival of Shane Long from Reading and has managed just one appearance on the bench in the league.

His only start this season was in the Carling Cup where he bagged a brace.

“I’m delighted to have got him,” said Saunders. “He’s a top class Premier League player.”

The French-Guiana-born forward, who can always play out wide, will be one of three new signings expected to make their Rovers’ debut against the Hornets.

Both Aston Villa defender Habib Beye and Blackburn Rovers’ defender/midfielder Herold Goulon, who have also joined the club on loan this week, are both expected to start for Rovers, who will be without suspended centre-back Adam Lockwood and the injured Shelton Martis, who joins fellow defender Pascal Chimbonda on the sidelines until next month.

Saunders also has doubts about skipper George Friend and James Coppinger, who both picked up ankle injuries at Oakwell, and centre-back Richard Naylor, who will need surgery on a badly broken finger.

All three were expected to face fitness tests today.

Saunders, who let Walsall keep veteran midfielder Mark Wilson until the early January, and let teenage midfielder James Baxendale join Buxton Town on loan in order to get some games under his belt, is calling upon his charges to bounce back from their much-criticised display at Oakwell against the Hornets.

“We are capable of doing it; we’ve just got to stop making mistakes.

Watford are a big strong team and they’ve got Iwelumo up front so there will be lots of balls into the box so our defenders are going to have to defend well. If we do that we’ve got enough amunition to win the game.