DONCASTER Rovers may already have been relegated to the third tier of English football, but boss Dean Saunders is already planning for next season.
Rovers lost their Championship status after the 4-3 home defeat to Portsmouth but since then have taken four points from two difficult away trips. Having drawn with Middlesbrough they impressed with a 2-0 win at Coventry City on Saturday.
And Saunders, who was appointed manager at the Keepmoat Stadium back in September, expects a busy summer ahead of him.
“These last few games have been an opportunity for some of the players to show me what they can do,” said Saunders.
“I’ve told them what sort of players I’ll be looking to bring in and what sort of characters I want at the club. It’s up to them to show me they can be those players.
“I know what sort of budget I have, but it’s going to be an extremely difficult summer. I have 12 players here who are on Championship wages and we’re going to lose a huge chunk of the television money as well. It might well be that we have to cut a few of the big salaries off the wage bill.’’
The former Wrexham boss says there are plenty of positives from this season- and is adamant that his team should still be playing Championship football next season.
“The most important thing is we sit down, and look at what exactly went wrong and what went right. There is a lot to be learnt,” added Saunders.
“We’ve beaten Southampton and Leicester, two of the top teams in this division, and we definitely should have stayed up this season.
“We shouldn’t be going down but unfortunately we’ve lost stupid points along the way.’’
Saunders will also use his own experience to try and help Rovers bounce back.
“We certainly won’t be signing millionaire players but I’ll use the experience that I’ve picked up along the way to make sure that things are done properly.
“We want players who are going to be proud to play for Doncaster Rovers.
“We’ve all got to look ourselves in the mirror and admit we haven’t done enough, I’m disappointed in myself because I really thought I could keep this team up.”