We must become tougher - Deano

7th January 2012. FA Cup 3rd Round. Doncaster Rovers v Notts County.'Dean Saunders watches on.
7th January 2012. FA Cup 3rd Round. Doncaster Rovers v Notts County.'Dean Saunders watches on.
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DEAN Saunders says he wants his Doncaster Rovers side to become harder to play against and believes they have to become more organised and resilient.

Rovers endured another blank weekend when the game at Crystal Palace was frozen off but they are set to be back in action tomorrow when fifth-placed Blackpool come to the Keepmoat Stadium.

“I’m learning in this job all the time, learning something every week and, for a start, it’s about getting our house in order,” said Saunders.

“I’m obliged to entertain our supporters - we’re all obliged to do that as managers otherwise everyone would just launch it up the pitch and there’d be no one watching the games.

“So, yes, we want to play the right way and play winning football but it is about being organised when you haven’t got the ball and having players in the team who will do the donkey jobs as well as having footballers.

“It’s about being hard to play against and I believe we have become more resilient and organised,” he added citing the three clean sheets in the past four Championship fixtures.

“We go over fine details, of not giving things away, of people being in the right starting positions.

“If you are in the right starting position then you can defend against anybody. If you are in the wrong starting position then two Sunday League strikers can score past you. It’s about being in the right position when the ball is in certain areas and it’ll give you half a chance.”

After the Palace game was called off on Friday, Saunders had his squad working on Saturday and then again yesterday in preparation for tomorrow’s game.

Rovers’ defensive resilience will be particularly tested tomorrow against a Blackpool side who are second top scorers in the Championship with 48 goals with Ian Holloway’s side renowned for their attack-minded approach.

They were held 1-1 at home by Portsmouth on Saturday. A win would have jumped them up to third.

Rovers dropped a place to second-bottom due to Forest drawing at home with Watford whilst Coventry stay rooted to the bottom after losing 2-0 at Reading.

Bristol City, the side immediately outside the bottom three, were beaten 3-0 at Hull City and it leaves them six points ahead of Rovers who have played two games fewer.

Millwall moved above Bristol City (but are on the same points) after a goalless home draw with Derby County. They have also played two more games than Rovers.

With the rise in temperature, and the forecast for it to continue, the Blackpool game looks set to go ahead meaning the first game since the goalless draw at Hull on January 31.