‘Last seven games’ sends a shiver down spine - but Dickov is only looking forward not back

Paul Dickov
Paul Dickov

With seven games left to play, Doncaster Rovers fans would be forgiven for breaking out in a cold sweat.

Rovers were relegated from the Championship on goal difference last year in agonising fashion after earning just one point from their last seven games.

A  dejected  Curtis Main at the Bradford City defeat: Picture: Anrew Roe

A dejected Curtis Main at the Bradford City defeat: Picture: Anrew Roe

It was a disastrous set of results that started with a collapse at home to Birmingham City which was not too dissimilar from the way Rovers folded against top six rivals Bradford City on Good Friday, leaving them with a mountain to climb in the race for the play-offs.

Doncaster arrive at Bramall Lane this evening with seven games left to resurrect their ailing attempts to stay on course for Wembley.

Their form has dropped off at just the wrong time, with their comeback win at Coventry just over a fortnight ago their only win in their last six attempts.

However, boss Paul Dickov insists Doncaster’s awful end to last season will not used as a motivational tool and will not even come into the mindset as Rovers look to avoid the scenario of this campaign fizzling out.

“It’s not an extra motivation,” Dickov told The Star.

“I think it’s completely different circumstances.

“Was I hurt? Was everybody hurt from last year? Yeah, one hundred per cent.

“It hurt me like I have never have been hurt before in football.

“But I can’t think about what happened towards the end of last season.

“We’ve just got to stay focused on the next few games we’ve got.

“For one thing, I know there are some players who are still here but it’s a different group of players who I feel have a different mentality this year.

“If you think back to what happened it’s just going to be negative thoughts and that’s one thing I never have.”

Dickov, meanwhile, says the team that handles the pressure best will claim what in all probability will be the one remaining play-off spot left up for grabs.

“I think the last few weeks have shown that there is a bit more pressure on you when you get into that sixth position,” he said.

“We were in there for a week and we’ve dropped out, Barnsley were in there and dropped out, Rochdale were in there and dropped out, now Chesterfield are in there.

“It’s obviously showing you that there is some sort of pressure, but you’ve got to be able to handle that pressure of when you get in there, to stay in there.

“Credit to the four teams [Bristol City, Preston, MK Dons, Swindon] that have done that all season.

“I don’t think anything will be decided before the final day,” he added.

“Regardless of who is involved, there’s that many teams in the mix and if you look at the remaining fixtures of the teams involved - everyone has got four five games against teams around them in the table - I really do think it’s going to go right down to the wire.”