Doncaster Rovers 2 Derby 1: O'Driscoll not thinking about promotion

Doncaster manager Sean O'Driscoll insists his focus remains on avoiding relegation despite watching Rovers move to within four points of the play-off spots with a 2-1 win over Derby.

Billy Sharp exorcised his penalty demons of midweek with a 14th-minute opener from the spot and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas put Rovers clear with a 20-yard thunderbolt midway through the second half.

Derby battled back, Rob Hulse netting his 11th of the season with a neat finish, but the Rams' late charge was not enough.

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The result, Derby's fourth loss in five games, sends Nigel Clough's team down to 18th, while Doncaster extended their unbeaten run to four games.

Irrespective of Rovers' form, which puts them 11th in a tight Championship table, O'Driscoll said: "I don't really care where we are as long as we get enough points and we are in this division next season.

"I don't look at the table so I am not concerned.

"I keep saying to the players, 'if you want to win this division would you do anything differently? If there is why aren't you doing already?' My motivation is to stay in this division. I am not looking at anything else."

Whether his side pursue promotion or avoid relegation, O'Driscoll fears the state of the pitch at the Keepmoat Stadium could be decisive in the run-in.

"I think we did really well to cope with the pitch because at this minute in time it's not doing us any favours," he said. "I watched the England Under-21s play here and they couldn't handle it so our lot did pretty well.

"We made hard work of it, but a lot of that is down to the surface. It will not help us play the way we want to play."

Sharp netted his 15th goal since arriving on loan from Sheffield United in September after being pulled down by Jake Buxton in the box.

Derby wasted a number of chances to level and were made to pay when on-loan Arsenal striker Emmanuel-Thomas netted his third goal for the club, something which has clearly delighted manager O'Driscoll.

"I am very pleased with him," he said. "He had an opportunity in the first half and he tried to chip it to Billy. We said at half-time if you get half a chance, pull the trigger.

"He has got a hammer of a left foot so we have been saying to him to have a shot when he gets half a chance.

"Very pleased."

Doncaster: Sullivan; Chambers, O'Connor, Ward, Roberts; Coppinger (Mutch 90), Oster, Wilson, Hayter (Martin Woods 87); Emmanuel-Thomas (Martis 80), Sharp. Unused substitutes: Smith, Hird, Guy, Shiels.

Derby: David Martin; Hunt, Barker, Buxton (Porter 80), McEveley; Tonge, Savage (Dave Martin 65), Green, Pearson; Davies (Sunu 45), Hulse. Unused substitutes: Leacock, Moxey, Anderson, Severn.

Referee: Simon Hooper (Wiltshire).

Man of the match: Jay Emmanuel-Thomas.

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