Doncaster Rovers: Let’s get physical in battle to beat drop, urges Dickov

Goal: Richie Wellens (right) and teammates celebrate Rovers' second goal against Wigan.
Goal: Richie Wellens (right) and teammates celebrate Rovers' second goal against Wigan.

Paul Dickov has urged his side to get physical in the battle to beat the drop.

The presence and tenacity of new boy Gabriel Tamas and fit-again duo Paul Keegan and James Husband were at the heart of Saturday’s impressive win over Wigan.

And Dickov has demanded more of the same for the duration of the season.

“The added physicality we had in the team helped us,” said Dickov.

“We’ve got players who can play good football but in every game you have to outfight the opposition first.

“I thought the way we played was because we outfought Wigan from start to finish.

“It wasn’t in 20 minute spells, or for one half and not the other,” he added.

“There was a real determination to do that right through the game.

“I think a lot of that was also down to the experience we had in the team.”

Dickov admitted post-game that his joy at the display was also tempered by a frustration that Rovers have been unable to produce more performances of a similar ilk.

He also hailed the impact of some new and old faces.

He said: “Recently, against QPR and Blackburn, even the Derby and Leeds games, we’ve shown signs of that but not consistently over the whole game.

“I had a long chat with the players after the game because as much as I was delighted with the performance, I felt a little bit aggrieved too. They showed what they’re capable of.

“Over the next 20 games that’s the level of performance that we need.

“When you’ve got big characters and big players out injured it can start to affect performances on the pitch. I’ve been loathe to use that as an excuse,” he added.

“But when you look round the changing room and see people with the experience of Gabby [Tamas], Abdou [Meite] and Keegs, it breeds confidence, not just on a matchday but right throughout the week.

“The second half at Blackburn was really positive and I sensed this performance was coming.

“The lads were really bubbly in training. I think getting players back from injury, along with the experienced players we’ve added, it’s given the whole squad a lift.”