Doncaster Rovers eye the top two

Back in the frame: Fit again Doncaster Rovers centre-back Jamie McCombe.               Picture: andrew roe
Back in the frame: Fit again Doncaster Rovers centre-back Jamie McCombe. Picture: andrew roe

DONCASTER Rovers will need little motivation to beat Oldham in tonight’s rearranged League One clash against Oldham Athletic at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Victory for Dean Saunders’ side would see them climb into an automatic promotion spot for the first time this season with only Tranmere’s better goal difference denying Rovers top spot.

In-form Rovers go into the game on the back of a 4-0 derby win over Scunthorpe and having banked nine points from their last three encounters.

Centre-back Jamie McCombe, who last played nearly two months ago has recovered from the bug which laid him low for a couple of days over the weekend and proved his fitness in training yesterday.

With several other players pressing for a start, Rovers boss Dean Saunders admits that he faces a selection dilemma: Does he make changes or stick with a winning team?

Traditionally since taking over at the club 15 months ago, Saunders has tended not to make changes to a winning side unless he felt that a player was flagging.

“If I feel that is the case I’ve got players who are full of energy ready to step in,” said Saunders, who has delayed selection of his squad until today.

Despite Oldham languishing in the bottom half of the table, Saunders is predicting that tonight’s game will be far from a foregone conclusion.

“Oldham manager Paul Dickov had a great attitude as a player,” he said. “He was an Iain Hume type of player and he had fire in his belly. He made the best of himself. His attitude was always spot on and he wanted to win.

“Now that he’s gone into management side of things he’ll not understand why everybody is not like that so his team will play with the spirit that he had.

“They are a decent side and they’ve got a couple of good strikers in Mattt Derbyshire, who was at Blackburn when I was there as first-team coach, he’s brave and gets goals. Jose Baxter has got eight goals in 15 games, so we are going to have to be careful and not think that we are better than we are.

“But things are coming together for us. We’ve scored seven goals in our last two games which is good because it has improved our goal difference.

“We had a big crowd on Saturday and they really got behind us and I hope they turn out again tonight.”