SAUNDERS WANTS NEW BLOOD
Dean Saunders will look to add some steel to his Doncaster side next season as they look for an instant return to the npower Championship.
Rovers ended their relegation campaign at the foot of the table with a 3-2 defeat to Ipswich at the Keepmoat Stadium.
Tommy Smith was afforded a free header to open the scoring for the visitors before on-loan Hearts midfielder Ryan Stevenson scored his first goal for the club after the referee's assistant signalled his 30-yard had crossed the line via the underside of the bar.
Fabien Robert and Habib Beye netted for the hosts either side of Jason Scotland's second-half penalty, but Saunders felt his men gave themselves little opportunity to claim a positive result with an error-strewn display.
"We started the game sloppy, I've never seen us misplace so many passes," he said.
"I thought we played well at Coventry, we got a great result at Middlesbrough, we played well against Portmouth.
"If we'd have won the game - you can't help it, human nature - you go away thinking 'everything's alright, we'll be alright next season'. Seeing that just makes my mind up.
"We've gifted three goals again - it's been happening all season. All the chances they got we gave them."
Aside from the careless passes and wayward defending, it was a perceived lack of stomach for the fight among his players that most annoyed a drained-looking Saunders.
"I thought we got bullied a little bit," he said. "James Husband made a tackle a quarter of an hour before half-time and got a standing ovation. That tells you everything.
"You can't get brushed off the ball and accept it. You can't lose challenges and just think that's alright. You've got have a bit of steel in you and a bit of aggression.
"So I've got to sign at least four or five players so that when our football's not working we don't get bullied and we can compete with anybody."
Ipswich manager Paul Jewell was far from satisfied after his watching his side let their early dominance slip to allow Doncaster back in the game.
"I'm angry today because at 2-0 we were playing well and should have been out of sight," he said.
"The chances we've had to go three or four goals up before they scored could have killed them off, but we didn't and then we're always susceptible to concede goals.
"Someone's just said that it summed up the season. For half an hour, until we scored the second goal, we controlled it and looked like we were going to score every time we went forward.
"But then we give teams a foothold in the games because we stop doing the simple things and the unglamorous things that would have got us through certain situations.
"Once we start thinking we've cracked it we're nowhere near as good a team."
Former England Under-21 midfielder Grant Leadbitter announced yesterday that he would not be renewing his contract at Portman Road and, Jewell is preparing for a summer overhaul after a disappointing season concluded with a 15th-place finish.
"I just think today highlighted the need for four or five quality players coming to our club," he said.
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