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Cherries: Howe determined to turn tide in 'huge' Rovers clash
Cherries host table-topping Rovers at Dean Court on Saturday bidding to regain their place in the top six and close the gap on the south Yorkshire outfit (3pm).
Howe ran the rule over Doncaster during a midweek fact-finding mission when they suffered a 3-0 defeat at MK Dons - only their third away loss of the season.
Currently seventh, Cherries are two points behind sixth-placed Tranmere and seven adrift of Doncaster who boast the best away record in the division.
Howe told the Daily Echo: “I thought MK Dons were excellent so it was a difficult one for Doncaster. But they showed enough to indicate why they are top of the league and why they have done so well this season.
“They have got a really robust team and a lot of Championship experience. They have got players who can hurt you if you allow them to. I was impressed with both teams and thought it was a really good advertisement for League One.
“We know this is going to be a pivotal game in our season. It is a huge game for us and we want to get back on track so, hopefully, we can.
“Doncaster are a big team, very strong at set-plays and long throws coming into the box is one of their main strengths. It is something we have worked on and, hopefully, we can combat it and our footballers will show their strengths and we can counter act it in that way.”
Howe reported no fresh injury worries and said defenders Tommy Elphick and Charlie Daniels had both made “good progress” this week but added he would “wait and see whether they are close enough to return”.
Meanwhile, Cherries reported that defender Stephane Zubar was set for six to nine months on the sidelines after sustaining serious knee ligament damage while playing for loan club Bury.