ABDOULAYE MEITE is keen to reward Paul Dickov’s faith and boost his own hopes of an extended Doncaster Rovers deal in the process.
The former Bolton Wanderers and West Brom defender made his league debut for Rovers in last week’s game at Blackburn, after finally signing for the club for the rest of the season.
Meite, 33, had been training at the club since November after leaving FC Honka, but Rovers had to wait until the new year to sign him as he was still technically contracted to the Finnish outfit.
The Parisian is now aiming to make up for lost time, while lending his considerable experience to helping Rovers achieve their survival mission.
Meite, who played in a UEFA Cup final with one of his previous clubs, Marseille, said: “I am here until the end of the season and I have to do well and, after that, we will see if I stay or not and if the club are happy.
“The manager showed he wanted me and that was important.
“I am happy to sign for Doncaster and help the club stay in this division.
“I finished in Finland in October and I came here to train and now I am happy.
“Practice games are not the same or for your fitness. But now I am okay and can play in the league games.
“In Finland, it was different and the standard was not the same. There is a big gap and the Championship is a good level.
“I will bring experience. There are some good players here, but I think I can help confidence which is a bit low.”
Without a win in nine matches, Rovers are desperate for the tide to turn ahead of a pivotal run of games, but face a tall order against in-form Wigan, managed by a great friend of Dickov’s in Uwe Rosler.
Dickov is keeping his spirits up, fortified by the sight of players returning from injury, and some successful transfer moves.
He said: “We’ve got to keep believing. We’ve got players coming back, which has given us a boost.
“Bringing in the likes of Abdoulaye with his experience and Hubby (James Husband) and Copps (James Coppinger) helped at Blackburn and Rob Keegan is now available and we’ve had some positive news with Rob (Jones).
“All of a sudden, the squad looks a lot stronger.”