Doncaster Rovers v Watford: Dickov expects Rovers to shape up to Watford challenge

Paul Dickov.
Paul Dickov.
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Maintaining focus on the bread and butter of home form is the maxim of manager Paul Dickov as his Doncaster Rovers side seek to keep the Championship’s bottom three at arm’s length.

Huddersfield Town became the latest side to be upset by lowly Rovers at the Keepmoat Stadium on Saturday.

While their away form has only produced one win, on home soil Rovers have had an uncanny knack of picking up timely wins against the likes of Blackburn Rovers, Leicester City, QPR and Wigan Athletic.

Those victories have served to keep the teams in the relegation zone at bay, and as they look to register back-to-back League wins for the first time all season tonight with the visit of Watford, Dickov is asking his players to continue the upward trajectory.

“We know our home form is good, we know we can beat a lot of the top teams and, for whatever reason, that’s when we put our best performances in,” said Dickov.

“We just need to address our away form, but if we can build on the result on Saturday, against Watford, it gives us a chance of pulling away again.

“Our standards were really high on Saturday in terms of team shape, discipline and tactically we were fantastic, so we just really need to keep on top of the players. We’ll have to have a very similar performance without the ball against Watford.

“We’ll have to keep our shape because they’ve got a lot of very good players.”

Watford arrive having added much-needed defensive resolve to the free-flowing attacking play that characterised Gianfranco Zola’s reign.

“They play 3-5-2 which causes a problem, so we have to look at a way to counter that,” continued Dickov.

“We handled that really well Saturday when Huddersfield moved to that formation in the second half. That gives us a taster for Watford.

“If we keep our discipline without the ball I believe we can really hurt teams. It’s when our shape is not quite right that we’re not at our best.

“Defensively they are stronger. They defend deep and try and condense any space in behind them so we’re going to have to slightly alter the way we play.

“But we can do it; we played against a back three on Saturday and we’ve shown we can do it.”

Defender Gabriel Tamas took a blow to the face in the win over Huddersfield, but should be fit to play.

Dickov is looking to add another central defender in the loan market.

Last six games: Doncaster DLDLLW, Watford DWWDLW.

Last time: Doncaster 0 Watford 0; November 26, 2011; Championship.

Referee: C Sarginson (Staffordshire).