Rovers target Taylor’s blueprint for success

DONCASTER Rovers manager Dean Saunders wants his players to toughen up on the road – citing former world darts champion Phil Taylor as a sportsman to study.

Saunders thinks his side could learn a thing or two from Taylor in terms of performing on any stage.

Rovers have picked up 10 points from a possible 12 at home in recent weeks but have lost five in a row away from the Keepmoat Stadium.

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Saunders said: “Look at Phil Taylor, the darts player, you don’t see him losing many games. Wherever he plays, he is the same.

“He goes playing at Edinburgh, Lakeside, wherever he plays he is still difficult to beat. His strength of character and his mind makes him difficult to beat and I have got to drill that into our players.

“We have got to get a unit out there that goes away from home and is not affected by anything.” he said. “The crowd can’t come out and tackle you – it’s just psychological – it shouldn’t affect you. It’s just 11 v 11 on a football pitch and we have got to go away from home and be stronger in the brain and harder to beat.”

Today’s opponents Bristol City are only four points and three places above Rovers in the Championship table but Saunders says it is too early to bill the game as a ‘six pointer’.

Speculation continues to surround the future of strikers Billy Sharp and El Hadji Diouf but both are expected to be involved this afternoon.

Sharp failed to agree personal terms over a £2m move to Leicester City and is prepared to wait until the summer for a move if nothing better comes along before the end of the transfer window.

Diouf, meanwhile, is under contract until the end of the month and is assessing his options.