DONCASTER Rovers’ defender Sam Hird is viewing the arrival of Dean Saunders at the club in a positive light.
“The arrival of the new manager gives everyone at the club a fresh start,” said Doncaster-born Hird.
“A lot of people liked the old manager. Nobody is doubting that he is a brilliant coach and a good manager and I’m sure that he will go on to good things somewhere else
“We were all behind him 100 per cent just as we will be Dean Saunders.
“The news (of O’Driscoll’s departure) came as a shock, but as the new manager says, that’s football.”
“We’ve got a new manager now and we’ve all got to try and impress him.
“He’s brought in his own ideas and we’ve got to take them on board and try and fit into his plans.
“I’m looking at it as a fresh start. I wasn’t playing as many games as I would like to under the old manager even though he gave me a chance four or five years ago when signing me from Leeds United Reserves.
“I’ve played a lot of games under Sean O’Driscoll but I’d not been getting into the team on a regular basis this season.
“So I see the arrival of the new manager, as will other players, as a chance to hopefully play more first-team football.
“I definitely see the managerial change as a boost to my hopes of playing more regularly.”
A member of the side which beat Leeds United in the 2007-08 League One Promotion Play-off final at Wembley, Hird says he has been impressed by what he has seen of the former Premier Division striker since his arrival at the Keepmoat Stadium.
“He’s approachable and he’s a bubbly character and he’s different to what a lot of us have been used to in the last four or five years,” said Hird.
“Like everything else, time will tell whether he’ll be successful here. But he’s brought in some new ideas and a lot of enthusiasm and seems to have a belief. He wants to see us continue to play football but have more of an end product by winning games.
“He’s made a good start in terms of results and hopefully we can build on that and start climbing the table.
“We might have had a bit of luck since he’s been here but we haven’t had much luck of late, so it’s a welcome change.
“We’ll have to see whichplayers he likes and which he doesn’t but he says that he is going to give everybody a chance to show what they can do.
“Everyone will be doing as much as they can to impress him and get themselves a place in the team.
An unused substitute in Saunders’ first two games in charge, the versatile 24 year-old year old, who can also play at right-back and in a defensive midfield role, got his first chance to catch the former Wrexham boss’s eye in a practice match against a Chesterfield X1 on Wednesday.
Rovers travel to Peterborough tomorrow knowing that victory, providing other results go their way, could see them climb out of the relegation zone.
They won 2-1 on their last visit to London Road the season Posh were relegated back to League One, but Hird admits that Rovers will have to play well to get a result there tomorrow.
“They can definitely score goals so we are going to have to defend well as a team. But if we can keep it tight at the back and have more of an end product then I feel that we’ve got a good chance of winning.”
Tomorrow’s game is the club’s last before the second international break of the current campaign.
Hird said. “It will give the manager the chance to get to know the lads more and for us to get settled into the way that he wants us to play.”
Teams and refs
peterborough (possible): Jones, Little, Bennett, Zakuani, Alcock, Rowe, McCann, Frecklington, Boyd, Sinclair, Taylor (4-1-2-1-2)
Rovers (possible): Sullivan, O’Connor, Naylor, Martis, Friend, Coppinger, Stock, Oster, Gillett, Hayter, Parkin (4-1-3-2).
REFEREE - Darren Drysdale (Lincs): Has yet to hand out a red card this season, though he has dished out 16 yellows.
One to watch
LEE FRECKLINGTON: The 26 year old central midfielder is the club’s joint-top scorer this season with three. He joined the club from Lincoln, where he captained the Imps, in January 2009, after helping the Sincil Bank club to back-to-back play-off semi-finals.
As well as having an eye for goal, the versatile midfielder can also spot a pass.
Rovers helped consign The Posh back to League One after just a season in the Championship in 2009-10 by beating them 3-1 at the Keepmoat and 2-1 at London Road with a 90th minute goal by John Oster - the last he scored until the winner against Palace last Saturday. London Road has not been a happy hunting ground for Rovers. They collected their only away win there in the ill-fated 1997-98 season.