Paul Dickov column: Home should be where the heart is for a good season

Our players should relish playing at the Keepmoat
Our players should relish playing at the Keepmoat

After a very pleasing start with two away wins, we’re back at the Keepmoat for two home games over the next few days.

It is a belief that playing at home brings you an advantage but it also brings plenty of challenges.

That is the case particularly when you have one of the division’s better stadiums and when you’re a team with a target on your back because of what you’ve achieved recently.

I would think teams would raise their game when they come to us this season.

That is something we have to prepare for if we’re going to be successful.

We’ve had two away wins so far but our home is going to be massively important. Winning your home games gets you up there.

It creates a feel-good factor between players and the fans.

We know it’s going to be difficult because teams will come to us, sit back and try to hit us on the break.

It’s something we’ve got to be prepared for and something we’re working on.

I’ve always been of the belief that players should love playing football regardless of whether they’re at home or away.

They should look forward to it more often than not but especially being at home. And that should definitely be the case here with the stadium we have.

The surface at the Keepmoat is fantastic. We’ve done that for a reason because we want to play football.

There’s a determination among this group to do well this season, especially at home.

We want to try and make this place a fortress this season. As much as teams want to come here, as soon as the game starts we want to make it uncomfortable for them.

Some players take notice of the crowd but some don’t. I was always focused on the job in hand as a player.

Sometimes you could go through games without realising there’s a crowd there and other times you’d hear them constantly. The main thing is just keeping your focus throughout it.

As a player I used to love the grounds like Goodison Park and White Hart Lane where the crowd are right on top of you.

I was a lucky boy to get to play in a lot of top stadiums.