Pires says no to Rovers

Ex-Arsenal: 38-year-old Robert Pires has been without a club since leaving Aston Villa.             PICTURE: pa
Ex-Arsenal: 38-year-old Robert Pires has been without a club since leaving Aston Villa. PICTURE: pa

ROBERT Pires is the latest global star to be linked with Doncaster Rovers.

However, any prospect of the former Arsenal and France winger turning out at the Keepmoat Stadium were quickly ended by the player himself.

New blow: Paul Keegan

New blow: Paul Keegan

Pires confirmed he had an approach on behalf of Rovers but that he had turned down the possibility of a move to them.

Pires, now 38 and without a club since leaving Aston Villa in the summer, was contacted about the prospect of becoming Rovers’ latest major signing but he declined.

“I’m happy they think I can help them but it’s not in my plans to play there.”

Rovers boss Dean Saunders has begun the build-up to the club’s big South Yorkshire derby clash with Barnsley at Oakwell on Saturday.

One player who won’t figure, and has now been frustrated again in his plans to show Saunders what he can do, is midfielder Paul Keegan.

Keegan’s comeback plans, following a second cartilage operation in recent months, have had to be put on hold after he suffered a slight tear in a thigh muscle.

“Your body is not used to training hard when you’ve been out injured and you often pick up niggly injuries and that’s what I’ve done,” said the former Bohemians’ star.

“It’s only a minor setback and I should be back within a week or so.

“It’s frustrating because I was nearly back (in full training) and the knee feels fine; that’s not a problem now,”

“I had a cartilage operation during the summer and my rehab was going well and then I started feeling twinges in the knee so I went back in and they shaved a bit more off.”

He added: “There is nothing worse than being injured when a new manager comes in. He doesn’t know what you are like and what you can do.

“I’m confident that I’ll fit into his plans when I’m fit. I think he wants people who will work hard and will both keep the ball and win it back when we lose it.

“Obviously he’s not seen me play yet and I can’t wait to get out there and show him what I can do,” added Keegan.

“It’s just up to me when I get fit to go out there and impress him on the training pitch and then hopefully try and get myself in the team.

“If I can get in then obviously I’d be looking to stay in,

“But to be fair to the lads they have been playing well and have probably deserved to have picked up more points than they have.

“But the win at Ipswich was a good result and it came at a good time - at the start of the international break when you haven’t got a game for two weeks. I think it has put a bit more confidence into the team.

“We just need to try and put a bit of a run together to get us start climbing up the table.

“If we can get a result at Barnsley it would set us up well for the home game against Watford, who are also struggling just now.

“I think if you get into a winning mentality sometimes you can play bad and still win. At the same time if you are losing that becomes a habit as well.”

Rovers Supporters Club are running coaches to Barnsley departing Retford at noon and picking up en-route at Harworth 12.05, Rossington/Bawtry 12.15, Hare and Tortoise 12.20, Infirmary 12.30 and Keepmoat 1245.

They will also be running coaches from Skellow, Adwick, the A19 corridor and Sprotbrough. For details phone Paul Mayfield on 07961-727769 or Len South 01302-81734. Those travelling on the North Doncaster bus should ring 07780-316923 or Dave Booth on 07949-517638.