Bucky’s Blog: Dickov’s ‘axe threat’ justified - now it’s up to players how they respond

Ex Rovers winger John Buckley - in coaching mode at Balby Academy.
Ex Rovers winger John Buckley - in coaching mode at Balby Academy.
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Are you just going to let your head drop and give in, or will you say to the manager ‘bring it on’ and rise to the bait?

That’s the choice facing Doncaster’s players this week after Paul Dickov threatened to move several of them on in the immediate aftermath of the Stevenage defeat.

In my opinion Dickov had every right to have a pop.

But when he threatened to wield the axe what he was really saying was that sort of performance was unacceptable. He’s saying if they perform like that then they have got no hope of staying in the Championship.

As a player you have to take that sort of criticism on the chin.

You can react in one of two ways. Either let your head drop and mope around, or roll your sleeves up and aim to prove the manager wrong.

Hopefully, we’ll see evidence of the latter at Blackburn this weekend. It can hardly get much worse than what we saw on Saturday.

I don’t think it was down to a lack of effort but I did think Stevenage were at it more than us, and that’s the first time this season I’ve really thought that.

The first half wasn’t great from either team’s perspective but after the break they showed a lot more desire than we did.

What made it even more frustrating was that it came on the back of a very good performance at QPR, and Rovers’ tendency to perform better against the bigger sides is becoming increasingly irritating.

Stevenage were worthy winners on the day and the scoreline flattered Doncaster in the end.

So a massive improvement is needed this weekend against a Blackburn team who held Manchester City to a very credible draw in the cup.

What Dickov desperately needs is experience, and the return of Rob Jones and Paul Keegan in particular can’t come quickly enough.

Bongani Khumalo should return at Ewood Park and that will take the heat off Liam Wakefield, who struggled against Stevenage.

If James Husband were to return at left back too that would be a massive boost.

We really need a result to lift morale. Fingers crossed.