KEIGHLEY Cougars head coach Craig Lingard is impressed with Andy Gabriel’s improvement over the past year, and he puts that down to the winger’s dedication.

Gabriel was vital in Cougars’ last match, scoring two tries and being at the heart of many of their best moves during a 26-18 victory over London Skolars.

Lingard was not surprised though, saying: “Over the last 12 months, he’s developed and improved beyond recognition.

“This season he’s been so consistent and it’s a testament to his hard work in training, including extra stuff with the coaches after everyone’s gone back inside.

“He’s a massive player for us, not just finishing tries with his pace, but the work he does making yardage. He sets a platform for our big men to make carries upfield.”

Lingard has problems elsewhere though, and ahead of Sunday’s game at Doncaster, he confirmed the departure of Samir Tahraoui.

Ill-discipline has blighted the Algerian’s debut season at Cougars and Lingard said: “We brought him in from Rochdale but we were hoping for more from him and he was hoping for more from himself.

“He also has to work longer hours now so he can’t attend training and be available for selection. Hopefully he finds a new club shortly nearer his home.”

Lingard will also be missing several players at Doncaster through injury but he was pleased with the progress on that front.

He said: “Hamish Barnes returned to training last week and Josh Lynam has the pot off his broken arm, but both are still a few weeks away from being selected.

“Darrell Griffin should be in contention this week though. He’s had three weeks to rest his quad and his experience will be massive.”

Lingard will need the likes of Griffin to be at their best if Cougars are to earn a surprise win at the Keepmoat Stadium, but he hopes to capitalise on Doncaster’s recent struggles.

He said: “We’ve won three on the bounce and they’ve lost two in a row. We may have more confidence, although that means nothing unless you perform well.

“They’ve also been affected by the injury crisis at Hull, who have dual registration with Doncaster.

“They’ve recalled Hakim Miloudi, and Liam Harris, who played for Doncaster last week at Oldham, could go back to Hull for tomorrow’s Super League game.

“We might have to take that into consideration, but we won’t know until 48 hours before kick-off. We just have to play the team that’s put in front of us.”