DONCASTER ROVERS goalkeeper Ian Lawlor has expressed a debt of gratitude to manager Grant McCann after signing a new two-year deal.
The Irishman is sidelined for the rest of the season following shoulder surgery – sustained in a freak training-ground accident in January – prompting some fears over his future with his existing contract expiring in June.
But McCann had been keen to retain the services of the 24-year-old, who joined from Manchester City in January 2017, regardless of his injury setback.
Lawlor, contracted at the club until 2021, said: “For the manager to give me another opportunity after a personally disappointing season, which I will take on the chin, I am delighted to be here.
“This has been my first involvement of playing week-in, week-out and I have really enjoyed it. I am still learning and in progress, but I feel at home here and did not want to move on, if I am honest.
“It is a family club and everyone wants one goal and I am improving every day.”
On Lawlor penning fresh terms, assistant manager Cliff Byrne said: “Ian has put in a lot of hard work and effort and we have seen the development this year and in previous seasons under Paul Gerrard.
“He is very commanding and assured and is working towards that maturity side of the game now, having been in and around the first-team environment now for a number of years.
“He sees his future with us and we see him growing and developing with us as well.”
Back in the play-off positions following Tuesday’s outstanding 4-1 League One win over Bristol Rovers, Doncaster’s fate is in their own hands with tomorrow’s game with visiting Walsall representing a further window of opportunity.
The side just below them are Peterborough United and sixth-placed Rovers can move five points clear of Posh if they triumph tomorrow – albeit they will have played a game more.
On the importance of Rovers getting back on track with their relieving first league win in eight games, Byrne added: “It is firmly in our grip.
“Equally we have got three or four clubs who are chasing, but we have got to focus on us and we are pretty driven on the next game.
“Tuesday’s performance was something we knew we were capable of and we felt we probably should have had a couple of those results in recent weeks. But the performance was there for all to see.”