The battle goes on for Saunders

PA Sport
Dean Saunders

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Dean Saunders

Doncaster striker Billy Sharp has opted against a move to Leicester, but manager Dean Saunders has admitted that he is still fighting to keep his leading scorer and El-Hadji Diouf at the club.

Relegation-threatened Rovers outplayed third-placed Cardiff at the Keepmoat Stadium on Saturday but had to make do with a goalless draw that keeps them above only Coventry in the npower Championship.

Saunders said: "As far as I know Billy will be staying with us until the end of the season. That's a great boost for everybody. If he can win us six or seven games between now and the end of the season it's worth millions to the club. And if he gets six or seven winners he'll probably be worth £3.5million and have Premier League clubs looking at him."

He added: "We've tried everything to make him stay and I'm pleased he is staying. He's indicated to me he's not going to Leicester but somebody else might come knocking.

"There's a clause in his contract and if someone hits it - if Manchester United come in for him tomorrow - I'm sure he'll change his mind.

"Diouf hasn't signed yet but I'm working on it. I've tried my best. Last year he was earning 10 times what he's earning here and that's a little bit of a problem but the main thing is he wants to be here, he wants to be part of it."

Bluebirds assistant boss David Kerslake admitted his side were a long way short of the form that has put them third in the table and challenging for the Barclays Premier League, but hinted that the midweek Carling Cup semi-final first leg against Crystal Palace was a factor.

"We were not at our best today, it just didn't go our way," he said.

"They're always going to be a force here and they've won their last three at home - Southampton, Leicester, Barnsley - so it was a tough place to come.

"It (the cup match) didn't help, especially with Doncaster not having a midweek game. A lot of this week has been about recovery. We're a fit group but it probably didn't help."

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