Having already lost three players in the transfer window without finding a replacement, another game could have been the last thing Doncaster Rovers wanted on Tuesday.
Manager Darren Moore was delighted to keep the positive on-field momentum going with a 2-0 victory over Shrewsbury Town.
Kwame Thomas’s short-term contract has expired, Alfie May joined Cheltenham Town, and Luton Town have recalled Donervan Daniels from his loan.
Rovers hoped to sign Norwich City’s Adam Idah to fill the gap left by Thomas and May, but his FA Cup hat-trick against Preston North End means the Canaries are taking their time.
Doncaster made light of it with their third win in four matches.
Bury’s demise, the weather, an FA Cup third round featuring Doncaster’s scheduled weekend opponents Portsmouth and postponements for internationals – Shrewsbury were due at the Keepmoat in November – have made it a bitty League One season.
The easy bit is identifying them and the hard bit is getting them over the line. But everybody’s working extremely hard to bring a bit more depth to the squad.Darren Moore
Doncaster have games in hand on all ten teams above them bar Fleetwood Town, two in some cases. But rearranging the Shrewsbury game for Tuesday helped build on a good Festive period, and Rovers now have seven games in the next month.
“We’ve not been able to get any momentum or continuity,” said Moore, whose side moved to within two points of the play-off places. “So it was important to get the game in.”
Fortunately for Doncaster, their league opponents on fourth-round weekend – Sunderland – are not one of the six League One teams still in the FA Cup.
Thomas has left after three goals in 10 appearances, though where he is going next is unclear. Rakish Bingham is also on a short-term contract, but until the end of the month.
“We were really close (to get someone in in time for Tuesday’s game),” said Moore. “The easy bit is identifying them and the hard bit is getting them over the line. But everybody’s working extremely hard to bring a bit more depth to the squad.
“Kwame signed a short-term contract and that’s ended so he’s moved on. We wish him well, he’s done extremely well for us.
“Rakish’s contract is for the whole month. He will be looking to stake his claim to continue until the end of the season.”