IT’S proving another stop-start season for Doncaster Rovers centre-back Shelton Martis.
The Dutch-born defender’s problems started when he suffered a calf injury within a couple of days of reporting back and missed the whole of pre-season. He didn’t start his first game for Rovers until their Capital One Cup third round tie at Norwich in late September.
He was in and out of the side with leg injuries before picking up a groin injury against Brentford and didn’t resume full training with the squad last until Monday and was included on the bench for the game against Crewe the following night.
“I was pleased to be back in the team but I didn’t expect to play for an hour,” said Martis, who came on after skipper Rob Jones was injured.
Martis came through the game but was a late cry-off just hours before the start of Saturday’s home game against Bournemouth with a hamstring problem.
“It’s been a very frustrating season, “ said Martis. “I’ve worked really hard in training and I’ve lost a stone in weight but it’s what you do in matches which counts.”
The fact that Rovers suffered a second successive home defeat in five days did little to lighten Martis’ mood.
“We had been looking to get back to winning ways against Bournemouth,” he said. “That would have given us a boost going into back-to-back away games against Portsmouth and Carlisle.
“But we are just taking it one game at a time and are concentrating on Portsmouth at the moment.”
With Rovers having crossed swords with Pompey in the Championship in the last couple of seasons, Martis says they are more familiar with them than most of their League One rivals.
“Having said that they have lost a lot of their players from last season as a result of their financial problems,” he said. “They also lost their manager, who took over at Blackpool, last week.
“You never know what affect his departure is going to have on Saturday’s game; it depends on whether they’ll have a new manager in place.
“A new manager often lifts things at a club when he first takes over because he brings something different and players often respond well to a change.
“But irrespective of who is in charge I think they are going to be difficult to play down there because their fans really get behind the team and stick with them whatever is happening,
“It’s too early to write them off because struggling teams can suddenly turn things around as Bournemouth have done.”