Bradford City v Doncaster Rovers: Victory would be ideal birthday present for Rovers chief

Rovers boss Paul Dickov

Rovers boss Paul Dickov

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NO prizes for guessing what present Paul Dickov would like above all others to crown his 42nd birthday today.

Three derby points at Valley Parade, although having been in the managerial game for some while now, he is savvy enough not to have pre-planned anything to celebrate his milestone tonight.

Dickov and his Doncaster Rovers side have plenty of work to do to get their campaign back on an upward track, with the visitors heading west on the back of a run of just two wins in their last nine League One matches.

This has increased the pressure on Dickov from sections of the frustrated Rovers support, but the Scot insists he is not feeling the strain particularly, despite the events of recent weeks.

He said: “I don’t feel it. The only pressure I feel is the pressure I put on myself. I had it as a player and now as a manager.

“I want to succeed and the team and club to succeed and don’t feel added pressure from elsewhere.

“The board have been fantastic with me. We have got a short- and a long-term plan.”

On the subject of birthday celebrations, he added: “I never plan anything on a Saturday night, regardless of whose birthday it is.

“Let’s hope we get a result, then I can enjoy a little glass of wine on Saturday night.”

Dickov, who will hand a second debut to loan goalkeeper Sam Johnstone – and has already said he would love his stay to turn into a longer-term arrangement – says he is reading little into the recent form of Bradford, which is decidedly patchy like that of Doncaster.

He said: “We have seen in a short space of time in this league that anyone can beat anybody.

“It will be a derby game with a good atmosphere and Phil (Parkinson) has got a good team there, so we won’t be paying much attention to that (Bradford’s form).”

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