Doncaster Rovers manager Paul Dickov described Saturday’s disappointing 3-0 defeat to Bolton Wanderers as “a game too far” for his injury-hit squad.
Rovers were second best on their first ever visit to the Reebok Stadium. The only positive was the unexpected return from injury of Chris Brown as a second half substitute.
Dickov took nothing away from a bright and inventive Bolton but said his side were “leggy” and feeling the effects of a busy last fortnight.
“We dropped well below the standards we’ve set ourselves recently,” said Dickov.
“Bolton came out on the front foot and we sat off them way too much in the first half.
“All over we looked a bit leggy and half a yard short compared to what they were.
“Saturday was our fifth game in 14 days with the same group of players, so maybe it was one game too far in a short space of time with a small group.
“We’ve got a good week in front of us now to work on what went wrong,” he added.
“It was a massive bonus to get Chris Brown back, and I think we need to get one or two others back.
“That’s nothing against the boys who played at the weekend because they’ve been magnificent recently.”
More positive news on the injury front arrived after the game when Dickov revealed that Yun Suk-Young should return to training on Thursday. Paul Keegan and James Husband are both back in light training.
Meanwhile, Dickov responded to speculation linking him with the vacant Sheffield Wednesday post in brief fashion.
Asked if he had heard of any interest from the Owls, he responded: “I’ve not heard a jot.”
* Rovers will host League One Stevenage in the third round of the FA Cup.
The draw was not the glamour tie many fans hoped for - but it presents Rovers with a very good opportunity of reaching the fourth round for the first time for three years.
Stevenage, whose cup tradition includes a famous win against Newcastle in 2011, are currently 21st in League One.
Current boss Paul Dickov masterminded Doncaster’s second round exit last season, then in charge of Oldham the Latics came from behind to beat Rovers 3-1 at Boundary Park.
Rovers last reached the fourth round in 2010 before losing to Derby County.
Ties will be played on the weekend of January 4 and 5.