Paul Goodwin’s Rovers Verdict: Who’d be a manager?

Rovers' manager Dean Saunders looks on after his side are relagated. Picture: Andrew Roe
Rovers' manager Dean Saunders looks on after his side are relagated. Picture: Andrew Roe

DEAN Saunders had more shopping lists than his better half this summer.

But it might not be until the January sales, or even next summer, before he gets everything he requires.

Saunders said at the end of last season that Rovers were no longer shopping at Marks & Spencer.

And his enforced bargain hunting - as Rovers have set about reducing their wage bill by almost three quarters - has led to a summer of frustration for manager, players and supporters alike.

With the Keepmoat Stadium also set to become home, this is a huge transitional period in the history of Doncaster Rovers.

It could take a while for things to really settle down.

It is not for the want of trying that Saunders had added only four new faces when we went to print yesterday.

He has missed out on several high profile targets - including Gary Roberts and Ryan Lowe - who received better offers elsewhere.

And he has been hampered by an on-off transfer saga surrounding Brian Stock’s protracted move to Burnley.

Trying to get the best possible players in at the best possible price, when free agents are holding out for the best contract offer going, is no easy feat.

Rovers’ board have laid down a very strict financial strategy for Saunders to work to this season.

But the reality of reducing a wage bill of approximately £8million down to roughly £3million is easier said than done.

Who’d be a football manager eh?

When things go well, the players take the credit. Things go bad, and it’s the boss’s fault.

But Saunders is streetwise enough to know that the buck stops with him.

And by the time Rovers open their League One campaign at Walsall next Saturday, I’m expecting several new arrivals.

There simply has to be. Otherwise Doncaster will be heading for another season of struggle.

Saturday’s cup game with York City will feel strange; like an extension to pre-season.

For York City, back in the Football League, it will be a momentous afternoon.

The Minstermen like this competition too. This is a genuine banana skin for Rovers.

Rovers 1 York City 1