CRAIG LIDDLE is under no illusions of how big a task Darlington face in this weekend's trip to Third Division leaders Doncaster Rovers.

Quakers are now just six points clear of the relegation zone, with nine games to go, after second-bottom Macclesfield closed the gap with a 2-1 win over Swansea on Tuesday night.

Quakers are unbeaten in their last five games away from home, but Liddle believes title-chasing Rovers, promoted from the Conference last season and fresh from a 1-0 win at Yeovil two days ago, will provide a stern test.

"Doncaster have had a brilliant season so we know that it's going to be a difficult game for us," said Liddle.

"They need the points just as much as we do at the other end of the table so it should be an interesting game."

However, the former Middlesbrough defender remains unfazed by Rovers' resurgent return to the Football League and has set his sights on getting Quakers' recent revival back on track at Belle Vue.

Quakers' survival hopes suffered a setback with Saturday's disappointing defeat at home to Cambridge. But having recorded wins at Huddersfield, Bristol Rovers and Macclesfield recently, Liddle is confident of adding Rovers to their growing list of away-day scalps.

"We know that as long as our attitude is right we know we are capable of beating anybody in the division," said Liddle.

"We've shown that we can go to the likes of Huddersfield and get results and I know the lads are determined to bounce back after the Cambridge game."

Middlesbrough goalkeeper Sam Russell played for Darlington reserves in yesterday's goalless draw at Doncaster. Quakers boss David Hodgson received special permission from the Teessiders to play Russell, with a view to signing the 21-year-old on-loan before the March 31 transfer deadline.

Darlington Reserves: Russell, Morley, Toft, Pearson, Hutchinson (Smith 60min), Collins, Keltie, Coghlan, Bossy, Close, Clark (Parkin 74min) Subs (not used): Norton, Mendum, Mason.