Doncaster Rovers: Tell-tale signs that Dickov’s doing just fine

Paul Dickov celebrates victory at Sheffield Wednesday.
Paul Dickov celebrates victory at Sheffield Wednesday.

Paul Dickov could not keep the smile off his face in the aftermath of the win at Sheffield Wednesday.

And who could blame him? The Scot had not just seen his team claim local bragging rights at the best possible time, ending a six game win-less streak and adding to Wednesday’s woes in the process.

He had not just got his wish for Rovers to win without playing well. Doncaster were slow out of the blocks in a backs to the wall, smash and grab-like performance which evoked memories of Rovers on the road last season.

He had not just seen his marquee loan signing Federico Macheda grab a third goal in two games either, with the Manchester United man already displaying genuine fox in the box credentials.

But Dickov had just witnessed the clearest signs yet that his plan is genuinely coming together.

All the evidence on Saturday suggested his squad have quickly bought into his philosophy.

Asked similar questions over and over again, manager speak can often become monotonous, full of cliche and rhetoric.

But Dickov’s repeated insistence that the WHOLE squad have a role to play at Doncaster was played out on the pitch in most obvious fashion by James Coppinger.

Coppiner could have quite easily gone in the huff after being dropped against Forest the previous weekend, following lively displays on the left against Huddersfield and Watford.

But there were zero signs of dissent as he came off the bench and played a pivotal part in changing the pattern of the game.

Dean Furman, the man Coppinger replaced, had let his standards slip in the first half.

Far from sulking, the South African was first off the bench at full time to high five his teammates.

Likewise, Macheda got a congratulatory tap from EVERY single person on the bench when he departed.

Even out of favour Billy Paynter, watching from the stands, had a smile on his face as Rovers’ subs poked fun at him during their warm-ups.

Winning helps, of course it does. But all the signs suggest Dickov has only enhanced the spirit of League One.

There was little wonder he walked out of the press room at Hillsborough punching his fist in delight.