Stock wary of old boss

Back in football: Former Doncaster Rovers manager Sean O'Driscoll is now at Nottingham Forest
Back in football: Former Doncaster Rovers manager Sean O'Driscoll is now at Nottingham Forest

SEAN O’Driscoll, the man who steered Doncaster Rovers to the second tier of English football after a break of more than 50 years, could threaten their prospects of staying there.

Out out of work since being axed by Rovers back in September following a disappointing start to the season - though he is believed to have turned down several managerial jobs - O’Discoll has joined relegation rivals Nottingham Forest as first-team coach.

Rovers’ skipper Brian Stock, though welcoming the return of his former boss back into the game, warns it could make things more difficult for the club in their battle to climb out of the bottom three.

“One thing for sure, Sean will get them organised, which may be something that they have been lacking in certain aspects of their game,” said Stock, O’Driscoll’s first signing when taking charge at the club.

Rovers’ boss Dean Saunders was more concerned with tomorrow’s game at Ashton Gate against fellow strugglers Bristol City than events at the City Ground.

He expects to still have the services of leading scorer Billy Sharp.

The former Sheffield United man rejected a move to Leicester City last week and although he is thought to be interesting several other clubs.

Saunders reported yesterday that there had been no further bids this week for the 25 year-old.

Saunders is still hoping that Sharp, as he has intimated he will do, stays until at least the end of the season. But he admitted the situation could change overnight were a Premier League club to come in for him.

Saunders, meanwhile, continues to entertain hopes that fellow striker El Hadji Diouf will finally sign a contract extension until the end of next season.

Diouf has held further talks with chairman John Ryan this week and Saunders reports that a deal is as close as it has ever been since the respective parties first started talking last month.

“We are getting close to an agreement and we are nearly there,” said the Doncaster boss.

He added that apart from Sharp there had been no approaches about any of his other players.

“It’s a surprise really though over the last year or so the team hasn’t been doing that well.” he said.

Both Martin Woods and John Oster boosted their prospects of being involved in tomorrow’s game by playing in a practice game on Wednesday.

Although Saunders now has more than 20 fit players to choose from he is not expected to make many changes, if any, to the side which drew 0-0 with third-placed Cardiff last time out.

“While they keep winning, or doing enough to win, I’ll try and keep a settled team,” he said. “If we don’t get results, or players aren’t playing well, then I’ll replace them.”