O'Driscoll defends £100,000 investment

Doncaster Rovers v Nottingham Forest


Ian Appleyard

DONCASTER Rovers manager Sean O’Driscoll insists that striker Steve Brooker will repay the club’s investment next season.

Brooker, 27, has been ruled out of action for the rest of the season after a third operation on his injured ankle.

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The former Port Vale striker has played just 26 minutes of football for Rovers since arriving in a 100,000 move from Bristol City 15 months ago and questions have inevitably been asked about the wisdom of the acquisition.

O’Driscoll, whose side have picked up just one point from their previous five games ahead of today’s encounter with third-placed Nottingham Forest, is adamant, however, that the striker will be worth that wait.

People see it as an investment that, as yet, has not proved fruitful for anyone,” he said.

“But they all want to play, they are not doing it because they want to just pick up their money and waste time. We maybe could have done things quicker – but one problem has unmasked another. Now we have solved the final problem.

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“His attitude has been first-class but there have been times when he has been frustrated and depressed thinking that his career is over,” O’Driscoll admitted.

“It has been a long, complicated course but he is 27 and has got a few years ahead of him yet. It is worth the effort and, when he finally gets fit, he will surprise a few people.”

Rovers were beaten 4-1 at the City Ground in November and O’Driscoll says he will not be surprised if Forest win promotion as champions under manager Billy Davies.

“Credit to the Forest board,” said O’Driscoll.

“Billy has gone in there and said ‘if you give me the resources, I will get this for you.’ They have backed him and he has delivered. He has tried to play it down, as you do when you are doing well, but to go 16, 17 or 18 games undefeated in the Championship was miraculous.”