Port Vale v Doncaster Rovers: Dickov seeks cutting edge up front to compliment Doncaster’s obdurate side

Rovers manager Paul Dickov.
Rovers manager Paul Dickov.
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BUT for the freakish events of the opening day, Doncaster Rovers’ three league games this season would have featured no goals at all.

It is a damning statistic in terms of going forward but one to be proud of from a defensive perspective.

Paul Dickov’s challenge, therefore, is to retain that solid set-up at Port Vale today while also bringing a cutting edge up front.

“I genuinely think against Wigan (in last Sunday’s goalless draw) it was a case of being unlucky,” said the Scot.

“We got frustrated a bit too early against Southend (on Wednesday night). They came with a game-plan and five in midfield, which made life difficult for us.

“We have to make sure frustration doesn’t set in in a situation like that. But I think it did.

The players expected to win the game before that and because of that they tried to win it as quickly as they could. I am all for positivity but we have to be patient as well.”

On the opening day, Harry Forrester put Rovers in front at home to Bury in the 89th minute with a bizarre goal that came about while the midfielder was trying to return the ball to the opposition goalkeeper after a stop in play. Dickov’s response was to allow the Shakers to equalise unchallenged.

But for that strange turn of events, all three league games would have finished goalless –which has led to criticism from supporters that the Yorkshire club should ditch a formation that features a lone frontman.

Dickov added: “If we play two up front, we get told we are too open in midfield. Against Leeds, we created loads of chances with that formation. Same at Wigan.”