Sharp to face Town tonight
IPSWICH TOWN: Fears that record signing Billy Sharp could be missing from the home side when Blues go to the Keepmoat Stadium for a Championship game tonight (kick-off 7.45pm) have been allayed.
The striker was elbowed in the ribs in an off-the-ball incident in Saturday’s home defeat by Portsmouth, but he played through the pain barrier for a full 90 minutes.
Sharp, who netted twice when Town beat Doncaster 3-2 at Portman Road last month, trained with the rest of the squad yesterday and took part in a competitive practice game.
James Coppinger was still feeling the affects of an ankle injury and was substituted midway through the second half.
He also trained yesterday, and will feature in the Rovers squad.
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Doncaster are also hoping to have striker Steve Brooker, who started his first league game for the club at Millwall 10 days ago, available.
“The idea was for him to have an injection in his ankle and be okay for the weekend,” said Rovers’ boss Sean O’Driscoll. “That was why we let Waide Fairhurst join Hereford on loan.
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“Steve trained on Sunday but we’ve wrapped him in cotton wool and he didn’t train today.”
Another player to sit out yesterday’s session was teenage on-loan midfielder/striker Ryan Mason, who impressed when coming off the bench.
“Ryan has a tight hamstring and is a doubt,” said the Rovers boss.
Veteran keeper Neil Sullivan is hoping to be back in contention after missing the last two games with a swollen shin.
“Neil did a little bit on Thursday and Friday but he suffered some reaction,” said O’Driscoll last night.
“He’s trained today and if he has no reaction he’ll be back in the squad. We’ve just got to be careful because if it flares again he could be out for a couple more weeks.”
Centre-back Wayne Thomas, who hasn’t played for 10 weeks due to a torn calf, again trained with the squad yesterday and could be involved tonight in some capacity
Skipper Brian Stock said: “Other teams may have a different mentality, but we go into every game looking to try and win and we are going to need three points against Ipswich.
“There might be a bit of a lack of confidence. We are renowned in this league for our passing football and we are not really doing it at the moment. But we will be trying our best to try to put things right.”
Tonight’s likely squads
Doncaster Rovers: Woods, Chambers, Kilgallon, O’Connor, Hird, Mason, Friend, Coppinger, Webster, Oster, Keegan, Stock, Shiels, Sharp, Souza, Bradshaw, Mills, Wilson, Brooker, Burge, Sullivan.
Ipswich Town: Fulop, Lee-Barrett, Edwards, McAuley, Delaney, Kennedy, O’Dea, Smith, Peters, Martin, Bullard, Leadbitter, Healy, Wickham, Scotland, Priskin, Civelli, Drury, Hyam, Brown.
Referee: Mr M Halsey (Lancashire)
Ipswich league record at Doncaster
P4 W0 D3 L1 F5 A6