Richie Wellens has explained why ‘unselfish’ Dean Furman has proven to be difficult to replace in Doncaster’s midfield.
Furman has missed Rovers’ last four matches due to his commitments with South Africa at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Bafana Bafana face an uphill struggle to qualify for the knockout phase after losing 3-1 to Algeria on Monday - meaning Furman could be back in time for Rovers’ next game at Chesterfield on January 31.
New signing Abdul Razak will give boss Paul Dickov another option in midfield when Doncaster resume their League One play-off push.
But Wellens - who missed Tuesday night’s goalless draw with Notts County because of illness - says Furman’s ability off the ball marks him out as different to his teammates.
“We’ve missed him in the last couple of games, his work rate is fantastic,” Wellens said in last weekend’s matchday programme.
“He’s such an unselfish player who’s great to play with because a lot of players we have want to come to the ball.
“He’s one of them who’ll make unselfish runs beyond the front man and not always get the ball and he’s quite happy to do that.
“His work rate and tackling is fantastic and I hope he goes there [to the Afcon] and does really well.
“It’s a big opportunity for him to put himself out there and showcase what he’s all about.”
South Africa face a crucial Group C fixture with Senegal tomorrow. Their final group game is against Ghana on Tuesday.
Furman has entered the final six months of his contract at Rovers. He has told reporters in Africa he is happy to wait until the summer to resolve his future.