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Keates anticipating tough test against 'surprise package' Doncaster

29 March 2019

Saddlers boss Dean Keates has praised the job done by Doncaster counterpart Grant McCann, labelling Rovers as this season's “surprise package”.

The South Yorkshire club rose to sixth after beating Bristol Rovers 4-1 in midweek – the perfect antidote to last week’s 4-0 defeat at Luton.

They are unbeaten in 11 home league games heading into tomorrow’s match against the Saddlers, who have won on all five previous visits to the Keepmoat.

Keates is anticipating a tough test against the play-off hopefuls – but insists his side will also make things difficult for their hosts.

“They are the surprise package of the season,” he said.

“The manager of the season has been announced but in my opinion that is a few weeks too early.

“Grant has done a magnificent job ever since he took over in pre-season.

“He has not had much to play with but he’s moved things around as well as he can and he has got an unfancied team within touching distance of the play-offs.

“If they end up in there and go on and win it, he is manager of the season.

“They are a good team. He asked for a reaction [after Luton] and he got that against Bristol Rovers.

“They try and pin you in your own half and play in the game in the opposition’s half.

“It is going to be a test for us but we’ll make sure it’s a test for them as well.”

Winger Matt Jarvis remains a fitness doubt, with Keates commenting: “It’s not his old injury, it’s just taken a little bit longer.

“With his previous history, he was out for almost two years with his ankle, so we have to see how it goes.

“All we can do is give him time, time is going to be the healer with him.”


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