Sheffield Wednesday v Doncaster Rovers preview: Dickov rejects favourites’ tag

Dave Jones

Dave Jones

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Just two places and two points separate Rovers and Saturday’s hosts Sheffield Wednesday but in terms of mood the two are poles apart.

The Owls appear shot of confidence as they scramble for a first win of the campaign.

In contrast, Rovers are brimming with the stuff as they go in hunt of what ultimately would be only their second league triumph.

Paul Dickov refused to dwell too much on the situation at the other end of the M18.

But he had plenty to say on why his side are oozing positivity – the main reason being enjoyment.

“As a group we’re together, we’re enjoying working really hard and testing ourselves,” he told the Star.

“It’s a fantastic journey in the Championship.

“People aren’t expecting a lot from us which perhaps lets us go out and enjoy it a bit more.

“When you’re enjoying your football you get performances which in turn results in you having confidence as well.”

Confidence may be high but Dickov is keen to prevent it from soaring too far with Rovers’ results not yet reflective of their performance.

That includes not underestimating struggling Wednesday this weekend.

He said: “We’re playing with a lot of confidence but we can’t get carried away because we haven’t got enough points on the board to think we’re better than what we are.

“The message will always be to strive to improve, be that performances or the points tally.

“We cannot go to Hillsborough and think that we’re favourites against Sheffield Wednesday because that’s just ludicrous.

“We will never take anything for granted. We will try to win every game but we’ll be respectful of the opposition and look at the threats and qualities they have.

“I’m not buying into the fact Wednesday are a poor team or that the manager is under pressure.

“They’re a good team with a fantastic manager.

“It’s a derby so Dave (Jones) will have them right up for it.

“One thing that will happen at some point is that Wednesday will win a game and we know we’re going to have to be competitive on Saturday just to make sure that doesn’t happen.

“We can’t expect anything but what we can do is go to a stadium like that, with a big derby day crowd and enjoy it.

“We want to express ourselves, we go there with a positive frame of mind but wary as well because they are a good team.”

Dickov provided a slight hint that another change of formation might be in order for Saturday, despite being pleased with the 4-2-1-3 system he lined up with in the 2-2 draw with Nottingham Forest.

And he says he is ready to make the tough decisions.

He said: “Making changes gives you the headache but that’s what I’m the manager.

“It was tough to leave out David Cotterill and James Coppinger last week because of the fantastic job they’ve done for the team.

“But I’ve shown if I have to make a decision I will.

“In away games recently 4-4-2 has served us well but we did look like creating a lot more last Saturday as well.

“In derbies you have to win the battle first and your football will come through.”