DONCASTER ROVERS manager Paul Dickov has hailed the impressive form of loan defender Enda Stevens – after confirming he is to stay with the club until January.
The 24-year-old, who signed for Rovers for a second spell from parent club Aston Villa early last month, is to extend his temporary stint until the early new year.
His initial one-month loan runs out on Monday, with Rovers having received the green light from Villa to extend it.
He has been a solid component of a back four which is gradually improving in terms of solidity and consistency.
Stevens, who joined Rovers after a previous spell at League Two outfit Northampton Town, featured 14 times in his loan spell at the South Yorkshire club last term and had remained in Dickov’s thoughts since.
Dickov confirmed: “It will be getting extended.
“We have spoke to Aston Villa and his loan is due to run out on Monday.
“But hopefully he is going to be signing for us so he can get registered again after the weekend to take us into January.
“He has really picked up. I thought he was excellent again the other night and his best game for us was at Crewe last week.
“He is getting better and stronger and his fitness levels are looking better as well, so fingers crossed he will be okay for Saturday.”
Stevens, James Coppinger, Paul Keegan and Nathan Tyson missed training as a precaution yesterday, but Dickov is hopeful that they will be fine for tomorrow’s FA Cup tie at his former club Oldham Athletic, when he returns to Boundary Park for the first time since leaving the club in February 2013.
But if the worst comes to the worst, he is confident he has alternative options to cover any loss, despite not being blessed with experienced alternatives in his small senior squad.
Keeping his fingers crossed, he said: “We are hopeful they will be fine for Saturday, but there is a few doubts at the minute.
“It is (a concern). But what it does is give others a chance. Theo (Robinson) took his chance fantastically well the other night.
“We also have Harry Forrester and Dean Furman, and Cedric Evina got another 45 minutes to 60 minutes in on Wednesday night.
“So there are players ready to come in. But if any of them were to miss out, it would leave us a little bit light.”