DONCASTER Rovers manager Paul Dickov has refused to use the absence of nine first-team players – and most of his preferred defensive line – as an excuse during his side’s recent poor form.
But last night he conceded that a long injury list is starting to bite after a loss that leaves Doncaster just a place above the drop zone.
“You have to deal with it,” said Dickov, who has now seen his side win once in 12 games.
“I’ve been loathe to blame the injuries in recent weeks, but it is taking its toll.
“We want to stay in this division. I still believe we will do that comfortably.”
He lamented the defensive mistakes which led to Doncaster facing a 2-0 half-time deficit against Ipswich Town, who have moved up to the edge of the play-off places.
“We can work on tactics and formations, but you can’t legislate for two players switching off at a set-piece,” he said.
“Especially against a big, physical team. You can’t expect to come back from that.
“It was far too easy. Far too easy.”
David McGoldrick struck twice as Ipswich cruised to three points.
He and the visitors’ captain Luke Chambers both headed home from corners in the first half to expose some flimsy defending.
McGoldrick, the outstanding player on show by some way, virtually ensured the result with his second goal on 51 minutes as Ipswich’s unbeaten run was extended to six games.
Dickov’s Ipswich counterpart, Mick McCarthy, took over at Ipswich 14 months ago with the club rock bottom of the Championship.
After just about steering them to safety last term, he has the Ipswich fans believing in a side that have lost only to high-fliers Leicester and Burnley since September.
While he was able to deliver more good news after the win at the Keepmoat Stadium – with Manchester United loanee Ryan Tunnicliffe set to extend his stay – the former Barnsley boss warned the club about getting ahead of themselves.
“Recent performances have been good but this league is so bonkers,” he said.
“You can have that good run and get in the top three but then you can lose three easily on the bounce.
“They (Doncaster) beat Leicester here and QPR here – that’s the league.”
Doncaster Rovers: Turnbull, Quinn, Wakefield, McCullough, Yun, Duffy, Furman, Wellens, Forrester (Cotterill 70), Macheda (Peterson 53), Robinson (Bennett 74). Unused substitutes: Maxted, Woods, De Val Fernandez, Stevens.
Ipswich Town: Gerken, Chambers, Berra, Smith, Cresswell, Hyam, Skuse, Tunnicliffe, McGoldrick (Taylor 83), Murphy (Anderson 90), Nouble (Graham 74). Unused substitutes: Loach, Edwards, Mings, Tabb.
Referee: T Harrington (Cleveland).