Saunders calls for belief
Dean Saunders has called on his Doncaster players to show more belief in their Championship survival bid after a home defeat to Millwall.
Last Updated: 20/03/12 11:58pm
Dean Saunders has called on his Doncaster players to show more belief in their Championship survival bid after they suffered a comprehensive 3-0 home defeat at the hands of Millwall.
Andy Keogh heading his fourth goal in six games before Harry Kane doubled the lead with a speculative strike from distance and the Lions wrapped up the points shortly before the hour mark through Darius Henderson's 19th goal of the season in all competitions.
Rovers remain four points from safety with just nine games to play and Saunders, who replaced Sean O'Driscoll as Doncaster boss at the Keepmoat Stadium in September, said: "Football is not easy. We've got to roll our sleeves up, come out fighting, have some belief in ourselves and have some nerve.
"We're all good players when we're 2-0 up. Who wants the ball when you're 2-0 down and the crowd are ready to have a go at you? I'll keep fighting and I'll make sure the players keep fighting."
The Welshman described Millwall's second early strike as "a freak goal", adding: "You could hit 100 of them at Carl and he saves 99 of them. I don't know what happened."
However, Saunders was furious with the abysmal marking that led to Keogh and Henderson getting on the scoresheet.
"It was just soul-destroying because we train every day and we go over things like that," he added.
"You are taught when you are 10 to mark strikers in the box and it's not rocket science - there's a ball coming in from out wide, you mark the centre forward. Andy Keogh gets a free header in the six-yard box and then Henderson gets a tap-in at the near post.
"When you spend hours on the training ground and you go over the basics (it is frustrating). We go over it and over it."
Despite his side's abject display, Saunders, who confirmed Tommy Spurr will undergo an operation on his right hand this week - ruling him out of the remainder of the season - insists his side can stay up.
"If I was a Doncaster fan I would be devastated right now, but all is not lost, Saunders said.
"When they get up in the morning and have a look at the league table they will see that we can still do it.
"Four points from safety with a game in hand - it's a miles better position than we were in a few months ago."
While Doncaster's prospects appear bleak, Millwall are nine points clear of the drop zone and have significantly boosted their own survival hopes.
Lions boss Kenny Jackett said: "It was a vital game tonight against one of our competitors at the bottom, to not let them come back at us.
"We've very pleased with the result, first and foremost, and the performance was good. Defensively we were solid and going forward we worked their keeper well and created a number of chances.
"Portsmouth had a good win, and obviously Forest (who won 7-3 at Leeds), and Coventry play tomorrow so it was vital that we did win because people can come back at you."