rovers will take stock

Ready to lead: George Friend will find out whether he will retain the captaincy.            Picture: Steve Taylor.
Ready to lead: George Friend will find out whether he will retain the captaincy. Picture: Steve Taylor.

DONCASTER Rovers’ skipper George Friend, who should find out shortly whether he will be keeping the captain’s armband now that Brian Stock is ready to return, has yet to lead the side to victory.

Rovers go into today’s game against fellow strugglers Reading at the Madejski Stadium propping up the table after picking up just one point from their first six games

But that is no reflection on how the young centre-back has played, or his leadership qualities.

“It’s not just down to me,” he said. “There are other leaders in the team - more experienced players than me - and they all contribute.

“The fact that we haven’t been winning games is both frustrating and disappointing to me.

“On a personal level I’ve still been enjoying my football, and it’s nice to have a bit more responsibility, but it is always more enjoyable when you are winning.

“Hopefully we can go down to Reading today and pick up a result. It would be great to keep a clean sheet; that’s what we’ll be striving for.

“Were we to pick up that first win it would give everybody at the club a huge lift.

“It’s a big game for us but so was the game at Cardiff the week before the game before that. The fact that we are next to each other in the league has probably attracted more attention to today’s game but we’ll not be treating it any differently.

“We’ve not been talking specifically about league positions at the moment because it is still early days, but obviously we’d like to ease a bit of the pressure.”

Friend admits that he is surprised to see last season’s beaten play-off finalists, who sold defender Matt Mills and striker Shane Long for big money in the summer, languishing in the relegation zone. He said: “It’s hard for any club when you lose key players. We know that after losing players through injuries. They’ve brought a few new players in but they probably haven’t gelled yet.

“I can’t see them being here (relegation zone) at the end of the season.”

He is equally confident that Rovers will also start to climb the table: “We are getting players back from injury and they are looking fitter and fitter so the competition for places is hopefully going to help us,” he said.