DONCASTER Rovers’ defender Tommy Spurr is facing a race against time to be fit for Saturday’s game at title-chasing West Ham United.
Spurr came off early in the second half of Tuesday’s 2-1 win against Nottingham Forest with a groin problem.
He told The Star that it was not a recurrence of the injury that required surgery and which kept him out of action for several months earlier in the season.
The injury took some of the gloss off the fact that it was the first time that he had finished on the winning side for Rovers since his £200,000 summer move from Sheffield Wednesday.
Fellow defender James Chambers, yet to play this season following a knee operation, will again be missing at Upton Park but he remains hopeful of playing this season.
“I would like to get some football in before the end of the season,” he told The Star. “How I’ll do that I don’t know at this moment.
“I don’t know how long it will be in terms of time before I’m ready to be challenging for a place in the team, but I still need more match practice.
“I’ve played in recent practice games but ideally I could do with a few more games. If I could get on in during a first-team game that would obviously help. But with the club’s situation at the moment as regards the battle against relegation I’m not sure how likely that is to happen.”
Tomorrow’s game will be Rovers’ first visit to Upton Park since they were relegated from the second tier of English football in the 1957-58 season.
But Chambers, who has played there on several occasions, says that Rovers won’t be fazed by the prospect of playing on a ground graced by such as Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst. Martin Peters and Trevor Brooking over the years.
“It’s a famous ground but most players at Championship level have got past the stage of being star-struck and at the end of the day most of them have played against a lot of good players and played on some big grounds,” said Chambers who is out of contract at the end of the season.
“We’ve also got players in our squad now who have played at the very top level and in high pressure situations and those who haven’t I don’t think will be affected.”
The Hammers, who are seeking to bounce straight back to the top flight at the first attempt after being relegated last season, beat Rovers 1-0 at the Keepmoat Stadium in August and will be looking to complete the double over the South Yorkshire side.
Said Chambers: “We know it’s going to be a tough game because they are probably the favourites to win the league - though I’m not sure what affect, if any, Portsmouth would have on the title race were they to fail to fulfil their fixtures,
“It’s another game where we’ve got a chance of picking up three points (as we did at Nottingham Forest in midweek) and we’ll be going all out to try and win it as we will all our remaining games.
“I’m still confident that we can stay up. We’ve got some good players in our squad and we’ve got games in hand over the teams around us and if we can keep on picking up points like we have been doing I think we’ll be safe.
“We’ll be trying to win all our remaining games. The chances are that we aren’t going to win them all but what we’ve got to be looking at is if we are not going to win then try not to get beat and at least pick up something.”