Veteran Sullivan keeping the faith

GOALKEEPER Neil Sullivan has been around long enough to know not to throw in the towel.

He fully expects his Doncaster Rovers colleagues to respond in the right manner at Blackpool today even though most supporters believe their play-off chances have gone.

"It's still a massive game," claimed the former Scotland No 1, even though Rovers have slipped to ninth, six points adrift of the top six.

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"The team can bounce back – we have been doing it all season. Some of our performances have been exceptional and Monday gives us another chance to put right what happened here today."

With almost 500 career appearance behind him, Sullivan has learned to expect the unexpected and says: "It's a funny league this season. The manager likes to say take it game by game and that's certainly the case over Easter. The games do come quick and fast and you do not have time to sit and sulk."

It was unfortunate that the back five twice switched off as the Pilgrims grabbed the points in a 2-1 win on Saturday because although Doncaster have won plaudits for their slick, inter-passing attacking style this season, a solid defence has laid the platform for many of their successes.

Sullivan was deceived for the first goal on Saturday by a deflection which resulted in him failing to hold Damien Johnson's shot and allowing Joe Mason to tap home the equaliser. Then the defence was badly organised for the free-kick from which Bradley Wright-Phillips headed the winner in stoppage time.

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Ever-present Sullivan, however, has also kept 14 clean sheets and believes he will continue to do so next season.

The former Tottenham and Leeds goalkeeper is 40 but says: "My age has got nothing to do with anything. Just because I have reached a certain age they say it's because you are too old when you make a mistake and when you make saves and do well they say it's because you are using your wealth of experience.

"The question of age is irrelevant. I expect to be playing next season. I enjoy football and still think my standards are of a high level.

"Where I will be playing next season I don't really know. My contract will be up and I am doing my B licence during the summer and I would like to be involved in goalkeeping coaching but I feel that is a long way off at the moment."