Doncaster Rovers: Man management is Dickov’s best quality, says on-loan Manchester City man Reece Wabara

Reece Wabara
Reece Wabara

The art of keeping players happy should not be underestimated. A happy dressing room is usually a winning one, and vice versa.

It’s part of the job that Paul Dickov excels at, according to defender Reece Wabara.

Having worked under Dickov at Oldham Athletic and now Doncaster, Wabara is better qualified than most to comment on the characteristics and qualities of his rookie boss.

And the 21-year-old full back, who has impressed on loan from Dickov’s former club Manchester City, could hardly speak any higher of Rovers’ young and ambitious boss.

“I’ve got the utmost respect for the gaffer,” said Wabara. “His man management skills are top drawer.

“All the players have a lot of respect for him and I think that’s crucial if you’re managing a team.

“If you lose the respect of the players, then the players don’t want to play for you.

“All the players have got his back and are going out there giving their all.

“He’s a relatively new manager,” he added

“The players respect the fact he’s very positive. He’ll always on at us to go out for the win and to go out there and press.

“He wants us to get in teams’ faces and give them no respect.

“He also wants us to pass it but knows, in this league, you can’t do that all the time.”

The greatest compliment to Dickov is that he has slotted in at Rovers almost seamlessly following his summer arrival, quickly silencing many of the doubters who questioned his lack of Championship experience.

Wabara’s biggest compliment centres on the Scot’s ability to communicate with his players. There are no barriers.

“He’s the type of manager who’ll pull you in his office before the game and have a word,” said Wabara.

“For example, when I moved to left back he pulled me in and said ‘Reece can you do me a favour and play left back?’

“I said ‘no problem’. Some managers would just put you there with no explanation but he had a chat with me about it.

“If players are left out of the team he’ll tell them why. He doesn’t just name the team and the players left out are left clueless as to why.

“Likewise if players come into the team he’ll tell them exactly what they have to do. He sticks to his word.

“If players do the business, they’ll stay in the team. Players respect that.”

Wabara’s lung-busting runs forward from full back have been a feature of Dickov’s attacking philosophy, and his form is said to have impressed parent club City, where he is due to return in January.

His form should only improve too, as he continues to recover from a fractured right toe which kept him out of the derby win at Sheffield Wednesday and home defeat to league leaders Burnley.

“I probably came back a bit too quick but that’s just because I wanted to play,” said Wabara.

“It’s still a bit sore but I’m getting by with my painkillers and numbing gel.

“I’m just happy to be playing every game and happy to be improving every day. I’m enjoying myself at Doncaster.”