Saunders praises loanee Piquionne

PA Sport
Frederic Piquionne
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Frederic Piquionne

Dean Saunders praised on-loan striker Frederic Piquionne after he announced his arrival at Doncaster in stunning style as they won the npower Championship basement clash with Nottingham Forest at the City Ground.

The French striker, on loan from West Ham, gave Rovers a stunning lead two minutes before the break with a spectacular 30-yard strike after he had picked the ball up 10 yards inside his own half. Piquionne's move was only confirmed on the morning of the match but his wonder strike had Doncaster manager Saunders enthusing.

He said: "We knew he had got that in his locker. I looked the other way for a split second, looked back and the ball was in the net. Someone mentioned to me that he normally scores on his debut and it was a great strike. He was struggling fitness-wise but he certainly made an impression."

Saunders added: "As a team I thought we played really well and knocked the ball about great. In fact, it's probably the best we have played since I've been at the club.

"It's a massive result. I would have been happy if we had played terrible and won but the fact is that we did very well. We had to make sure that Forest didn't go nine points clear of us but that brings it back to three and we have a game in hand.

"The goalkeeper made a difference. He's catching crosses under the crossbar and calming everything down. But we conceded a goal to a deflection and then we faced a terrible 15 minutes at the end but we dug in and got the result we deserved."

After Piquionne's bolt from the blue, Kyle Bennett added a second a minute after the break when he volleyed in a superb cross by acting captain El-Hadji Diouf at the far post. Forest got a goal back when Chris Gunter pulled the ball back for Dexter Blackstock to have a shot deflected over the impressive Rovers' keeper Carl Ikeme.

It all left Forest manager Steve Cotterill wondering what had gone wrong after his side had taken seven points from the previous three games. He admitted: "It was a disappointing performance and we didn't show any signs of that in the last three or four games - none whatsoever.

"We had a couple of injuries before the game with Marcus Tudgay not able to start and Paul Anderson unable to take his place on the bench. That might have upset the dynamics but right at this moment I can't explain what went wrong.

"I know one thing - I am pretty angry at the moment but I will lift myself up. I'll be fine. The players would have been in tomorrow (Wednesday) anyway but we'll work with them and try and recover as quickly as we can. We've just had two fantastic results away from home and we come back and kick ourselves in the teeth with this. It's not acceptable."

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