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Interview with an away fan: Doncaster Rovers

Leeds United take on Doncaster Rovers on Friday night in the pairs first meeting in the Npower Championship. The Whites beat the Rovers 2-1 in the Carling cup back in August. I had a chat with Lewis Ward from the Doncaster Rovers blog Vikingsbloggen.

Sean O'Driscoll has left your club. Over the years he brought great success and great football. But I think his time was up. What are your thoughts on his departure?

We had been on a losing run of 19 games (started by Leeds!) so he was being put under a lot of pressure. Some fans were becoming impatient, wanting him out but personally I would have been happy for him to stay. The day he was sacked was strange though, first he was given a vote of confidence before being replaced less than 48 hours later. Now he has gone though, we're starting to understand the decision.

Dean Saunders is now in charge, happy with that appointment?

Like I say, it was weird the way O'Driscoll was sacked and Saunders was brought in and none of us knew what to expect. He was an inexperienced manager, making the leap from non-league to the Championship. He's undefeated so far though, so that makes me happy!

Since Saunders' took charge you have been unbeaten after two wins and one draw. What's changed, has there been a total overall or is it just the typical new manager syndrome?

Nothing drastic has happened on the pitch, we're still playing football the 'right way' but now we're getting goals. I hope it’s not just down to new manager syndrome, but the morale of the side seems to be on the up and with the return of key players things are starting to look better.

Jon Parkin has had some abuse in the past for obvious reasons. But against Leeds last year he was the best player on the pitch and was given a round of applause at the end of the game. What has he brought to the Keepmoat so far?

He's brought something we definitely needed. Although he hasn't managed to score yet, he's played well in every game so far. It’s a long time since we've had someone big up front but we definitely have someone now! He was unlucky to score at Peterborough the other week from what was a magnificent effort, if only the goal was a couple of inches higher.

Saunders has also added Pascal Chimbonda and Herita Ilunga. Two solid signings for the Championship in my opinion. What do you expect from them?

Neither of them have played yet! But we needed someone in that area, with Tommy Spurr being injured so hopefully they can do the job. Ilunga looked good when he played against us earlier in the season, so more of the same please!

With the recent improvement from the team the expectations are bound to increase. What will you settle for come the end of the season?

Mid-table would be fantastic, we definitely don't want another relegation battle. With the ambitious signings the club have made though, it looks like we're going for promotion. A tough ask but it can be done. I'd still be happy with a mid-table finish though, around 12th-14th.

How is our old favourite Richard Naylor, has he been the rock at the back, or the slow old man?

He hasn't really put a foot wrong yet, he is slower than we're used to and he struggles with long range passing but he's doing a good job for us. It's taken a few games for him to settle so hopefully he will improve still as the season goes on.

Donny fans

Last time we spoke you said Kyle Bennett was a major threat, he still the man we need to fear, or is there somebody else?

Billy Sharp is back from injury, so is due a goal! Sharp and Parkin up front will be a threat, with Coppinger and/or Bennett coming in from midfield I don't think we look bad going forward.

I usually ask which Leeds player you would love to see at your club, last time you wanted Luciano Becchio. However he hasn't been a regular due to injury, so who else has impressed you this year?

Ross McCormack always looks a threat, so we'd love to have him back here. He did well for us in 2006, scoring a few goals so it's great to have him back. He looks a bit different now though!

Prediction for the match? I think 2-1 to the Whites, even though you have been on a good run as of late.

I think we could tip it 2-1. We've only kept one clean sheet all season so I think Leeds will score first, and we'll turn it around in the second half.