Darren Moore will have his options reduced at home to Shrewsbury Town tonight after Adam Idah gave Norwich City pause for thought about letting him move to the Keepmoat.
With a number of aches and pains to assess after the festive period, manager Darren Moore lost Alfie May and Donervan Daniels last week.
Teenager Idah had been lined up as May’s replacement, and it had been hoped he might make his debut tonight, but an FA Cup hat-trick against Preston North End has put that on hold.
The Canaries have not ruled out a loan for the 18-year-old, but it has persuaded them to take their time over a decision.
Doncaster had already let fellow striker May leave for Cheltenham Town, while Luton Town recalled defender Daniels. Both played at the weekend.
Although neither featured over Christmas, it leaves Moore with a reduced squad tonight, not that he is bemoaning his luck.
“Apart from one or two niggles and fatigue over the Christmas period we feel we’re relatively happy,” he said. “Apart from one or two strains we’ve managed to come through that gruelling period.
“I feel we managed the team as best as we possibly could in that time.
“There might just be one or two sores and we’ll have a look ahead of Tuesday’s game to assess where they’re at.
“If it means that we’ve got to leave them for one game then I’d rather do that than risk them for one game and have them out for five or six weeks.”
Injuries to Josip Drmic, Dennis Srbeny and Teemu Pukki, and Idah’s opportunistic response have caused Norwich to take their time over the teenager.
“There is no need for an emergency situation,” said manager Daniel Farke of Idah’s situation after the youngster’s second senior start. “We are in the driving seat.
“If he is scoring goals for us we won’t be loaning out our best players. He has a long-term contract so there is no urgency on our part.
“It will be a bit difficult to keep him a secret now. That is for sure. He deserves to be in the spotlight a bit.
“We back young players as a club but there are no gifts. They only come to the pitch when they are ready.
“Adam is prepared to deliver and he grabbed his chance with both hands. Not just his goals, but how he kept the ball and linked the play and worked for the team.”
Moore has admitted Idah is a January option, but not the only option.
“His name has been mentioned at the football club,” he revealed.
“But there are others out there and I won’t detract away from that because there are. There are others that we’ve been talking to today even.”
Srbeny is expected to return from a back injury for Norwich’s next game, at Manchester United, and nine-goal top-scorer Pukki has not definitely been ruled out of that yet. Drmic, who like Pukki, has a thigh injury, is expected back the week after.
Since Srbeny and Drmic have only scored one Premier League goal between them, and Pukki is the Canaries’ only other senior striker, there could now be a temptation to keep Idah for the rest of the campaign – particularly if he can follow up his FA Cup heroics in the league.
Farke, though, is loathe to jump to conclusions at this stage.
“A few months ago, in his only other start at Crawley (in the League Cup), it was not his best day and he looked so far away from Premier League football,” cautioned the German.
“Saturday’s was a top-class performance.
“But it was an away game in the third round of the FA Cup against a difficult side but also a Championship side with several changes.”
May has joined Cheltenham after a difficult first half of the season in which he was restricted to seven league starts, scoring once. He also netted twice in the Football League Trophy.
The 26-year-old scored on his Cheltenham debut, Saturday’s 3-0 win over Oldham Athletic.
Versatile defender Daniels made just eight starts for Doncaster this season, and parent club Luton called him back for the second half of the campaign. He made his full Hatters’ debut at Bournemouth in Saturday’s 4-0 FA Cup defeat.
Doncaster have extended goalkeeper Seny Dieng’s loan from Queens Park Rangers.
Since making his League One debut in late September, the 25-year-old has not missed a game in this season’s competition.
The game was originally due to be played in November, but was rearranged because of the Shrews’ international call-ups.
Last six: Doncaster Rovers DLDWLW; Shrewsbury Town DWWLDD.
Referee: B Toner (Lancashire).
Last time: Doncaster Rovers 0 Shrewsbury Town 0, August 21, 2018.