DONCASTER Rovers could be boosted by the return of James Coppinger in tonight’s Championship relegation six-pointer against Millwall at The Den.
Coppinger missed Saturday’s goalless draw against Watford at the Keepmoat Stadium with an ankle injury picked up in the game at Barnsley, but trained yesterday and will return to the injury-hit Rovers’ squad unless he shows any adverse reaction during today’s light session.
But skipper George Friend, who also sat out the game with an ankle injury sustained in the same match, didn’t train and looks set to miss out again.
Rovers also look set to be without El-Hadji Diouf, who limped off after an hour on Saturday.
Saunders is in receipt of the results of yesterday’s scan but wasn’t giving anything away as regards to whether Diouf will be fit to play.
With John Oster, Pascal Chimbonda, Shelton Martis and Paul Keegan all out injured and centre-back Adam Lockwood suspended, Saunders has recalled veteran midfielder Mark Wilson from his loan spell at League One Walsall and also added youth team prospect James Husband to his squad.
“Millwall is one of the hardest places in football to go and play with their support and the tradition of the club and the way they want their teams to play, so we know that it’s going to be a tough game,” said Saunders.
“But we’ve been to Peterborough and Ipswich and won so we aren’t scared of anybody.”
One man Saunders will be looking to tonight is veteran Aston Villa defender Habib Beye, who made a man-of-the-match debut against Watford.
“The good thing about Saturday is that we kept a clean sheet,” said Beye. “If we can do that tonight we’ll get chances to score goals and win the game.
“I don’t want to compare Doncaster to Manchester United, but they win so many games 1-0 and you still only get three points whether you win 1-0 or 5-0. I think if we can do the same job defensively as a team at Millwall we can get a result.
“I don’t think it is any different playing away, You should want to win every game. You don’t go into a game saying ‘let’s go for a point.’
“If we can repeat the performance on Saturday we could be out of the bottom three really quickly.”