Doncaster Rovers spirit key: David Cotterill

Hard game: David Cotterill against York in a tie which went into extra-time.                     Picture: steve uttley
Hard game: David Cotterill against York in a tie which went into extra-time. Picture: steve uttley
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FORMER Welsh international David Cotterill admits that Doncaster Rovers face a tough task in Saturday’s opening League One clash at Walsall.

But he knows that it won’t be as physically demanding as last Saturday’s Capital One Cup first-round tie at the Keepmoat Stadium, which was finally decided in Rovers’ favour by penalties.

“It was a very hard game,” recalled the winger.

“I don’t think anyone really wanted to play extra-time in our first competitive game of the season - especially when we were down on numbers and only had three outfield subs - though it was probably beneficial for those players who haven’t played that many games in pre-season.

“We’ve worked very hard on our fitness and I thought that we looked in good shape at the end.”

Although pleased with his own fitness, and that of the team, Cotterill told The Star that there has been much to work on in training this week.

“I thought that we could have kept the ball better; we tried to force it a bit too much at times, “ he said, “But we’ve got good players and we’ll adjust that.

“It was our first competitive game and it was a case of everybody getting used to it again.”

Looking ahead to the game against the Saddlers, Cotterill said: “It’s going to be a another tough game.

“They also won in the Cup on Saturday and they’ll also want to start their League One campaign with a win, especially with being at home. But we’ll take a lot of confidence into the match from the win over York.

“I’m expecting it to be tight down there and it probably won’t be pretty at times, but hopefully our character will shine through.

“You always want to start off a league campaign well and pick up as many early wins as you can and then try and build on that.

“Hopefully people such as myself, Copps (James Coppinger), Martin Woods and Kyle Bennett can chip in with a few goals and help the strikers out.”

Meanwhile, Saunders has confirmed he is interested in re-signing Fabien Robert on loan. With Coppinger facing an uncertain future at the Keepmoat Stadium, Saunders is weighing up his options in the wide positions and the Frenchman is on his radar.

Saunders also said Paul Quinn, who went off with cramp last weekend, is in contention to start tomorrow.