Doncaster Rovers v Leyton Orient: Dickov asks players to go the extra yard

Doncaster Rovers' boss Paul Dickov.
Doncaster Rovers' boss Paul Dickov.

Above anything else, Paul Dickov wants to see his players willing to run through brick walls for the cause tonight.

Like most of his managerial colleagues, the Scot can accept defeat when Doncaster are beaten by the better team.

But what the former workaholic striker won’t accept is players shirking responsibility - and he’s becoming increasingly concerned at some of the recurring themes that are blighting Rovers’ return to League One.

Ahead of this evening’s home clash with struggling Leyton Orient, Dickov spoke very frankly firstly to his squad and then also to the media about what expects when his Rovers team cross the white line.

He expects more than he’s currently getting.

“Sometimes you can have three or four players not at it, and having a poor game, and the other six or seven will really drag them through,” said Dickov.

“At the minute we seem to have 11 players really at it, or eight or nine of them not. You’re not going to pick up results when that happens.

“You need to have a strong mentality and strength of character when things aren’t going well in games to really dig yourself out of it. But it seems when we are going behind we’re looking at other people to help us out, rather than dealing with it yourself.

“The good results and the good performances we’ve had this season have come when people have really taken responsibility.

“When we’ve had good performances, everyone is really at it. When we’ve been poor, there doesn’t seem to be other people dragging other people through.

“As an individual, you know when you’re not playing well in games. Trust me, I had enough bad games to know that myself.

“But the one thing you should always do is really roll up your sleeves and try and lead by example in that situation.

“We tend to have too many not at it. We need to get some sort of happy medium into our performances.

“We had a long meeting on Monday morning. The main thing from my point of view is who is willing to go that extra yard for themselves, for their teammates, for the club and for the fans?

“It’s nothing to do with the technical side of the game, and it’s got nothing to do with tactics or formations. Do you really want to go that extra yard, or sometimes go in where it hurts?”

Dickov was asked at yesterday’s press conference whether his patience had snapped?

“Yes,” he replied bluntly.

“We know it’s a small squad, I don’t want to keep bleating on about that. But I also wanted to give everyone a fair crack of the whip. There might be one or two that think they’ve not had that, but there’s not really that many of them that can come to me and say they’ve not had a chance.”