PREVIEW: Doncaster Rovers v Derby County

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DEAN Saunders could welcome back centre half Shelton Martis as Rovers look to continue their recent good form when Derby County visit the Keepmoat on Saturday (3pm).

Martis was forced off with a groin injury at West Ham United last weekend and missed Tuesday night’s draw with Reading but could be set for a recall.

Saunders admitted Rovers missed Martis’ height against the Royals but praised stand-in Sam Hird.

The Rovers boss is delighted at his side’s current run of form which has seen them go five unbeaten.

He said: “Our performances of late have been good and I can’t think back where we were really outplayed and deserved to get beat.

“We’ve deserved what we’ve got, the players are working hard and we’ve got a more settled side.

“Every team we play against keep saying it’s the worst they’ve played and we know why – because their players don’t get much toom.

“I’m confident we can beat anyone.”

Derby were rocked this week by the news influential skipper Shaun Barker has been ruled out for the rest of the season.

The former Rotherham centre half is set for an operation after sustaining knee ligament damage in the Rams’ 1-0 win over East Midlands rivals Nottingham Forest.

Jake Buxton – who scored the winner against Forest – looks set to replace him in the starting line-up on Saturday.

Derby boss Nigel Clough is looking for his side to follow up their win over Forest with a positive result as he targets a strong finish to the season.

The victory over Forest saw Derby equal their points total from last season and Clough has urged his players to better it as much as possible.

He said: “The Forest game will have taken a lot out of us but we want to get something at Doncaster.

“Dean Saunders has got them in a good little habit of not losing games at the moment and four draws and a win in their last five games shows they’re hard to break down.

“It’s a tough game for us.

“Doncaster have some very talented players in their squad and they’ll be looking to get a result in front of their home fans and claw themselves out of the bottom three.

“We want to put together a good run of results and after not backing up the Blackpool win last Tuesday with a good result against Watford we’re looking to ensure that doesn’t happen again this time around.”