Saunders confident Doncaster have calibre to withstand Pompey test

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DEAN SAUNDERS is backing his Doncaster Rovers players to bounce back from the heartbreak of conceding a stoppage-time winner against Blackpool on Tuesday when they take on Portsmouth at Fratton Park.

Rovers took a 27th-minute lead at Bloomfield Road through Billy Sharp only for Thomas Ince – son of former Manchester United and England midfielder Paul – to equalise in the 63rd minute before providing the coup de grace four minutes into stoppage time.

It was tough luck on Rovers, who played well enough to get a result but lie second-bottom of the Championship with eight points from 12 games.

“We had chances to kill the game off at Blackpool and then they went and scored an unbelievable goal,” bemoaned Saunders. “We played so well we should have won the game comfortably.

“I spoke to their manager after the game and he apologised and said he thought we deserved something out of the game.

“We’ve put that game behind us now and we’re fully focused on the game at Portsmouth.”

Saunders pledged his side would go all out for a win against a side four points and five places above them in the table.

“They’ve got Premier League players throughout the team, but I’m going to set the team up to try and win the game.

“It’s going to be a real tough test for us, but I’m confident the boys will go out there and perform.

“We look as though we are getting stronger and there’s a bit more of a team ethic.”