DEAN SAUNDERS has hailed Doncaster Rovers’ ‘captain fantastic’ Rob Jones and says he has proved his weight in gold at both ends of the pitch since arriving from Sheffield Wednesday.
Sixth-placed Rovers are seeking to round off a perfect week results-wise at Meadow Lane this afternoon following late victories over leaders Tranmere Rovers and Brentford.
They are starting to make their presence felt in League One and manager Saunders says a lot of it is down to Jones.
The big defender has added much-needed ballast to Rovers’ rearguard, identified by Saunders as his priority area in the summer, with the statistics bearing that out with only Sheffield United and MK Dons having conceded fewer league goals this term.
The 6ft 5in central defender has also made his presence felt from set-pieces at the other end, and his capture is looking an increasingly shrewd one.
Saunders said: “We are defending well in games and not letting many goals in.
“We have only conceded around twelve goals this season and we are averaging a goal a game ourselves.
“Rob Jones is obviously an example to everybody at the club, he’s earned us around 15 points already from both ends of the pitch.”
Having set a target of six points from three matches this week, Saunders wants Rovers to claim a bonus against Notts County, who are one place above them in the table.
The Rovers manager feels the test against Keith Curle’s troops represents their toughest hurdle this week, but he has challenged his players to go all out for victory to show their credentials for automatic promotion.
He added: “We’ve got six points in the bag from these games already. I said to the players that six points is not a bad total but when you get the first three points in the bag, you can then aim at getting nine.
“If we get nine points, then we are going to be in the top three or four.
“But Notts County are a good team, they have got some good forward players and try to attack against teams, so it will probably be the toughest game out of the last three.”