‘UNSUNG hero’ Paul Keegan is helping Rovers hit all the right notes, according to Brian Flynn.
The 28-year-old Dubliner is enjoying his most consistent, and injury free, campaign in a Rovers shirt since arriving from Bohemians two years ago.
He was at his combative best against Leyton Orient on Saturday, breaking things up and even driving forward as Doncaster delivered their most harmonious home display of the season.
Keegan has started Rovers’ last 12 league games, of which nine have been victories, and has also formed a good understanding with the more adventurous David Syers in recent weeks.
And the midfield destroyer’s performances have not gone unnoticed by his musically-minded manager.
“I’ll ask you a question,” said Flynn, when quizzed about Keegan’s influence.
“How many people do you need to play the piano?
“Five,” he said.
“Four to carry it, and one to play it. Simple.”
Flynn’s analogy was a light-hearted way of stating that Keegan does the ugly, unseen work. He did it to maximum effect against Orient, much to the benefit of front men Chris Brown and James Coppinger who both saw plenty of the ball in good areas.
But Keegan also showed a willingness to get forward and shoot on sight against Orient, a sure sign of confidence in the former Leeds United man.
The midfielder might know his limitations in terms of attacking but Flynn was keen to pay tribute to his other attributes, which he said are a vital component of Rovers’ currently well-oiled machine.
“What you’ve got with Paul is realism,” said Flynn.
“I realised it quite a while ago when I saw him play.
“In Paul you’ve got a professional footballer who knows his job.
“We’ve got a few of them out there for us, but Paul is that type of footballer.
“He’s an unsung hero.
“Everybody needs those sort of players in their team.”
Keegan has made 25 appearances for Rovers this season and also bagged his first goal for Doncaster during the 2-0 win at Notts County in October.
He endured an injury nightmare last term, making just three appearances as Rovers slid out of the Championship.