MATCH CENTRE: Doncaster Rovers v Shrewsbury Town

editorial image

DEAN Saunders is facing a potential crisis at centre half as he prepares to welcome Shrewsbury Town to the Keepmoat.

On form defender Rob Jones is suspended after picking up a fifth booking of the campaign in the defeat to Preston North End on Tuesday.

And there are doubts over the fitness of Jones’ regular defensive partner Jamie McCombe due to a hip problem.

Should McCombe miss out, Saunders may be forced to field an untested pairing in Shelton Martis and Tommy Spurr with James Husband slotting in at left back.

James Harper should be available after missing Tuesday’s game through illness and could be handed his second Rovers start after off-colour performances from Martin Woods and David Syers in the defeat.

Woods may miss out regardless due to an expected concussion.

Shrewsbury boss Graham Turner is without on-loan Wolves striker Sam Winnall who suffered a hamstring injury against Brentford on Tuesday.

Terry Gornell impressed Turner after replacing Winnall and is a likely starter for Saturday’s clash.

AT THE TRAINING GROUND

Dean Saunders: “We’re not right in the middle of midfield at the moment and I need to find out who is best playing with whom.

“There’s four of them at the club and I’ve got to find the right combination where they complement each other and the rest of the team.

“We’re a couple of players short altogether and I have to make sure I get the right player in the right position.

“I looked at our bench on Tuesday and didn’t think we could improve.

“We could do with an extra player in every department who brings different characteristics to what we’ve got.

“Shrewsbury are doing ok, their strong point is probably their manager Graham Turner who has coached at the highest level before.

“He will have chosen the players he’s got wisely and they’re going to be organised but I’m not too concerned because if we don’t give away the goals from corners then we win – they’re basics and you have to do them right whatever league you’re in.

“You want to win at home so it puts more on the gate and more people come. If we win on Saturday then we’re right up there and we’ve got a game in hand.”

Probable Rovers line-up (4-5-1): Woods; Quinn, McCombe, Martis, Spurr; Cotterill, Keegan, Harper, Syers, Bennett; Brown.

KEY MAN

Illness robbed James Harper the chance to bed himself into the Rovers XI on Tuesday night following his first start for the club in last Saturday’s win at Leyton Orient.

With both David Syers and Martin Woods somewhat out of sorts in the defeat to Preston, Harper is likely to be presented with that opportunity again.

Dean Saunders has admitted he has yet to discover the ideal make up of his midfield bank giving Harper the opportunity to become the chief string-puller of the side.

OPPOSITION VIEW

Graham Turner: “When you look through the Doncaster side, they’ve got some decent players with Championship experience, but their confidence must be a bit fragile.

“They’ve not had the best of starts to the season, so we’ve got to go there and impose ourselves.

“Terry Gornell will be in the team. He’s a good player who’s never complained about being left out.

“Strikers sometimes have lean spells, but he’s been so unlucky not to score this season and, once one goal comes, I’m sure more will follow.”

Match odds: Rovers 5/4 Draw 5/2 Shrewsbury 11/4

Shrewsbury’s last game: Brentford (a) 0-0

Head to Head: Rovers wins 5, Shrews wins 10, draws 7.