Doncaster Rovers: Bennett’s form delights Dickov

Doncaster Rovers' Kyle Bennett equalises with his free kick. Picture: Andrew Roe
Doncaster Rovers' Kyle Bennett equalises with his free kick. Picture: Andrew Roe

Paul Dickov says he has been impressed with the reaction of Kyle Bennett during Rovers’ pre-season - and he wants the midfielder’s form to continue for the upcoming term.

The winger netted the equaliser for Dickov’s men with a superb free-kick during their 2-2 draw with Sheffield Wednesday at the Keepmoat Stadium on Sunday.

And having struggled to force his way into the Rovers’ starting XI last term following the displays from widemen James Coppinger, Mark Duffy and David Cotterill, Dickov has urged the 23-year-old to kick-on for Doncaster’s 2014-15 League One campaign.

“Kyle knows what I think of him as a player,” Dickov told the Free Press.

“I’ve got a lot of time for him as a player and a person.

“But he also knows he has to start producing on a matchday.

“One thing I will say is that he has been fantastic all pre-season.

“But what he has to do is transfer that into the games when the season starts.

“He’s got a different outlook about him during pre-season, whether the penny has dropped - I don’t know.

“But we’ve had numerous chats and the reaction I’ve had from him has been great.”

After featuring just twice for Rovers in last season’s ill-fated Championship campaign, Bennett took up a one-month loan move to Crawley Town.

The former Wolves trainee played in five of the Reds’ six games during his short-term deal.

And having returned to Doncaster, Bennett joined Yorkshire rivals Bradford City in January.

He spent nearly five months at Valley Parade, featuring 18 times for the Bantams.

“Kyle was in my plans last year,” Dickov admitted.

“Kyle wanted to go out and get games and get his own identity back as a player.

“With it not working for him previously, it’s very difficult to turn that around. So, we thought the best thing for him was to get him out there a little bit, go play some games and come back fresher.

“He’s settled down in his personal life - he’s got married over the summer which is a big thing as well.”

Following the departures of Cotterill and Duffy to Birmingham back in June, Bennett could see more opportunities for himself in the red and white of Rovers this season.

The winger could also be in contention for a starting berth against Rotherham United in Saturday’s pre-season friendly.