PAUL DICKOV COLUMN + AUDIO: My phone call to a fan

As the manager, I want the fans to know that we hurt as much as they do when we get a performance like the one against Bournemouth.

We are all proud of the club and I’m proud of the job I do so a result like Saturday takes a little while to get over.

Paul Dickov can only look on as Eddie Howe's Bournemouth hit Doncaster Rovers 5-0

Paul Dickov can only look on as Eddie Howe's Bournemouth hit Doncaster Rovers 5-0

You’re hurting inside but I do want you to know that whatever criticism I get, I take it on board.

I actually made a phone call this week to a fan. He’d emailed the club asking why the players and myself didn’t go over to thank them on Saturday. That wasn’t completely right because I and the majority of the players went over and I wanted to explain that to him. The players that didn’t go over were dealt with internally because it’s something I am massive on.

Away fans spend their money and take a lot of time out to travel so it’s the very least we should do - and can do - win, lose or draw.

I’m the manager and I’m there to be shot at. Any emails that come from fans I ask for them to be forwarded onto me - good, bad or indifferent.

If I feel the need to give them a call or get back to them directly, I will do that. I think it’s important the fans realise we’re all in it together and we feel just as much after a defeat as what they do.

I spoke at length with the chief executive Gavin Baldwin and the board when I came in about being approachable to fans and I wanted to make sure that I was included in the ‘Meet The Owners’ events.

Fans can ask me whatever they want, I’ll answer it as honestly as I can.

This season, our fans have been fantastic. I know there were a few question marks amongst you when I came in, and rightly so. I get that, I understand that.

I think the majority of you are realistic about how we will do this season.

When we get defeats like we did at Bournemouth, there’s always going to be some - if not all - questioning what’s going on because it hurts.

I want them to know that it hurts me just as much.

Keep backing the team. We were all disappointed after Bournemouth but we have to stick together.

We’re in a battle. But I enjoy battles. In my playing career I was told I was too small, I wasn’t quick enough, I didn’t score enough goals, I wouldn’t play for Scotland, but it’s always nice to prove people wrong.

At the start of the season we were favourites to go down.

As a group let’s prove everybody wrong because there’s no better feeling.

Paul Dickov was speaking to Hayley Paterson.