Defeat pushes Rovers to brink of relegation

Doncaster Rovers manager Dean Saunders believes a spiralling injury list and the relentless demands of the schedule have brought his side to the brink of relegation.

Saunders’s men are 11 points from safety with four games left and Rovers’ four-year stay in the second tier will end if they fail to record a first home win since January 2 against fellow strugglers Portsmouth on Saturday.

A home team sheet displaying nine changes from Saturday’s defeat at Leicester and winger Fabien Robert as the only one of Saunders’s signing in the XI prompted suggestions that a decision had been taken to jettison the raft of high-profile short-term signings brought in under the watch of agent Willie McKay.

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But Saunders said. “The whole team’s injured. I don’t know how it’s fair that we can have a day to recover where Burnley have two.

“I’ve got some players where, if the game was (today), they might have been all right.

“We had a run of games Saturday, Tuesday, Friday and playing Leicester has finished a few of them off.”

On-loan Millwall winger Josh McQuoid netted his first Burnley goal with a superb 30-yard volley to give the visitors a half-time lead and Charlie Austin’s penalty 14 minutes from time sealed the points after Doncaster striker Chris Brown – who played despite failing a fitness test – levelled.

Clarets manager Eddie Howe was delighted with his team’s all-round display. “I think we could have won by a more comfortable scoreline, but in the end it’s a really good win,” he said.

Doncaster Rovers: G Woods, O’Connor, Lockwood, Hird, Friend, Bennett (Coppinger 46), Stock (Barnes 22), Gillett, Robert (Oster 87), Hayter, Brown. Unused substitutes: Sullivan, Bagayoko.

Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Duff, Edgar, Wallace, Stanislas (McCartan 89), Marney, McCann, Ings, Austin, McQuoid. Unused substitutes: Jensen, Lafferty, Howieson, Hewitt.

Referee: N Miller (Durham).