AFTER a pretty seamless pre-season for the first time in several years, the opening salvos of the league campaign have seemingly represented a bit of a jolt to Doncaster Rovers.
One person who would beg to differ is Rovers manager Paul Dickov, who insists that morale remains high in the squad, despite a double-whammy of a mini-injury crisis and run of four matches without a league win.
Dickov, who has boosted his options by bringing in Ipswich Town winger Cameron Stewart on loan until January 2, said: “Morale is good within the squad.
“If you take things over 90 minutes, we have had one defeat (in six league and cup games) and it is important to realise we are only four league games in at the minute as well.
“It is early doors, but we know we need to start getting victories.
“But more important for me is that the players know that they are capable of doing that as well.”
Rovers’ injury woes intensified in Tuesday’s 4-1 Capital One Cup exit to Ipswich after extra-time, with Luke McCullough joining a growing casualty list which also includes Harry Forrester and last-season’s top-scorer Nathan Tyson.
The defender will be out for six to eight weeks after suffering a medial ligament tear in his knee against the Tractor Boys and Rob Jones (neck) is also a doubt today.
Dickov feels Rovers’ injury ills are down to bad luck, plain and simple, and are nothing to do with a strenuous pre-season, training methods or anything else.
He added: “Apart from Nathan, all the others are impact injuries which you cannot legislate for.
“If we were getting loads of muscle injuries, we’d look at how we train and pitches and diets and everything else.
“But they are all through impact and you have to put it down to being a little bit unlucky.”