By Tony Leighton
A loan move from Oldham Athletic to Doncaster Rovers means that midfielder Dean Furman will be involved in an Easter Monday promotion battle with Swindon Town rather than a survival scrap against Colchester United.
South Africa international Furman, whose Oldham contract expires in the summer after four years at Boundary Park, has impressed in his two substitute appearances since arriving at the Keepmoat Stadium a fortnight ago.
Now he is expected to be in the starting line-up for top of the table Doncaster's televised home game against fourth-placed Swindon, the game kicking off at lunchtime and so allowing him time later in the afternoon to follow the fourth-bottom Latics' progress against a U's team sitting two places higher.
Looking ahead to what could be a fraught day, Furman told football-league.co.uk: "I suppose you could say it's a bit of an odd situation I'm in. I'm wishing Oldham all the best while focusing on helping Doncaster to hopefully clinch promotion."
Rovers are in pole position to gain automatic promotion to the Championship, from which they were relegated last season, but on Friday their lead over the Play-Off places was cut from five points to two after a 1-0 defeat at Coventry City.
"It was very disappointing for us at Coventry," added Furman. "After a poor first half we were completely on top in the second half and created an untold amount of chances. Our finishing let us down though, and at the end of the game we were scratching our heads wondering why we hadn't got something out of the game.
"Other results went against us as well on Friday, so we have to bounce back immediately and it's good that we've got a game so soon after a disappointing defeat. It's going to be difficult against a very good Swindon side, but we'll go in with confidence high after our excellent second half performance at Coventry."
With half a dozen teams battling it out for an automatic promotion place, the race is likely to be tense right through to the end of the campaign. But Furman, despite having been at the Keepmoat Stadium for only a couple of weeks, feels sure that Rovers can stay with the pace and climb back up to the Championship.
"It will be tense," agreed the 24-year-old midfield man, "but there's real character as well as quality in this team and that can see us through. We've got six games left and they'll all be tough, but we'll stay fully focused on our aim - and the aim is to finish the season as the League 1 champions."
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