Doncaster Rovers ANALYSIS: What Paul Dickov needs to do this summer

Doncaster Rovers Tommy Spurr lifts the trophy as they celebrate the presentation of the nPower League One Trophy. Picture: Andrew Roe
Doncaster Rovers Tommy Spurr lifts the trophy as they celebrate the presentation of the nPower League One Trophy. Picture: Andrew Roe

There’s no such thing as down time at Doncaster Rovers this summer.

With the Football League due to start earlier than normal, it will feel like the time it takes for the ball to travel from one of end of Griffin Park to the other before Paul Dickov’s Doncaster are reporting back for pre-season.

So what does Rovers’ new boss need to do between now and then?

Firstly, he cannot afford to let Tommy Spurr slip through the net.

Spurr’s the type of infectious character that helps mould a happy dressing room. He’s as comical off the field as he’s serious on it.

He’s also young, dependable and driven - and to lose him for nothing would be nothing short of a travesty.

Dickov must then inject power, pace, experience and excitement into his squad. No easy task on a shoestring budget.

The spine of the team is where the work needs to be done, and capturing Richie Wellens would be a good start.

Wellens is known to be a bit of a ‘moaner’ inside the game. He doesn’t shy away from voicing his opinion, he has high standards, and he would add Championship know-how in a key position.

He might not have the legs that he once did. But, with younger players around him, or in a midfield five, he would be the middle man to dictate possession - an area Rovers were weak last season until the arrival of Dean Furman and John Lundstrum.

Goalkeeper is a number one priority. And, after releasing Gary Woods, there is a temptation to think Rovers already have someone lined up to take the gloves.

A possible target is Nicky Weaver, released from Sheffield Wednesday. I was told he got as far as a medical at Doncaster last season before an injury setback jettisoned the deal.

If former Owl Rob Jones has put in a good word, Weaver could well be on the radar.

Centre-back is a dilemma, and another reason not to let the versatile Spurr go.

Jones and Jamie McCombe both have a point to prove in the Championship, but sadly neither are blessed with the type of pace they’ll come up against on a weekly basis.

Whereas the ‘twin towers’ were perfectly suited to the aerial bombardment they dealt with so well last season, there is a danger they could be played around in a higher league.

Dickov will be looking for someone more mobile who is comfortable with the ball at his feet, to complement his current options.

Which brings us to centre forward, a position he needs to add at least two further options.

This is another area Rovers need an injection of pace, which would place a big question mark next to the possible return of Iain Hume.

Dickov may well go in a different direction, preferring to complement the physical attributes of Chris Brown, if he agrees terms, and Billy Paynter with a more mobile, fox-in-the-box type striker.

He might also move for a Jose-Baxter-type frontman, a link man to play just off a main striker in a 4-5-1 formation.

By all accounts Dickov has plenty of irons in the fire.

He may currently be keeping his cards close to his chest but, with just 62 days to the start of the new season, he knows time is of the essence. There is no time to waste.