Saunders' survival hopes boosted

PA Sport
Dean Saunders
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Dean Saunders

Doncaster manager Dean Saunders believes his side's performance in their 1-1 npower Championship draw with Reading proves they can stay up.

Rovers became the first team in nine games to stop the Royals winning in a pulsating clash at the Keepmoat Stadium and led through Kyle Bennett's fine first-half goal but an inevitable Reading equaliser came early into the second half through Alex Pearce.

"They are a good team and we matched them," Saunders said. They've won eight in a row and we've stopped them so we have got to take confidence from that. No one else has stopped them recently. It's a point nearer safety and we are hard to play against."

Rovers were undone by the outstanding delivery of veteran defender Ian Harte, with Pearce's equaliser coming from a corner after a spate of chances had earlier been missed from his set-pieces, leaving Saunders' side unable to cope.

"In general play it was an even game and we made lots of chances and the probably the difference in the end was Ian Harte," he added. "The delivery was the best I have ever seen, we were having all sorts of problems."

Despite seeing their winning run come to an end, the point sees the Royals move into the automatic promotion places and they look a good bet to be celebrating come the end of the season.

Manager Brian McDermott refused to get carried away with the league position, instead pointing the progress his side have made this term.

"If you look back last time we played Doncaster (in September), if we'd have lost we'd have gone bottom so looking where we are that's not too bad," he said.

"We learn from the first half and second half we did what we had to do.

"This was never going to be easy, you have to give credit to Doncaster, they have got players who can hurt you."

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