Doncaster Rovers: Dickov clarifies comments about wanting ‘squad of men’

Paul Dickov
Paul Dickov

Paul Dickov has clarified his comments about wanting a ‘squad of men’ next season.

The Scot’s quotes in the aftermath of Rovers’ abject defeat at Notts County left some fans fearing for Doncaster’s youth policy - but Dickov says the two can dovetail.

“I know I spoke after the Notts County game about mentality and getting men in,” said Rovers’ boss.

“What I meant by that - and I think it got taken slightly out of context - was you can be 21 and still be a man with a strong mentality. Look at Wayne Rooney when he was 16. He was a man before his time.

“It doesn’t mean we’re looking to recruit 30 to 35-year-olds because we’re not.

“But we definitely want people with the right mentality that can week in week out and day in day out train and play to a consistent level.”

He added: “We’ve spoken to the younger lads about coming back for pre-season and actually believing that they’re first team squad players. It’s important they have that mentality when we start back.

“If somebody like James Coppinger, Paul Keegan or Richie Wellens needs a rollicking, I want the young players to do that.

“We don’t want shrinking violets coming in.

“People will see that, if our recruitment process goes the way we intend it to, with the people we’re hoping to sign.”

Dickov said after Rovers’ 2-1 defeat to Notts County: “The last time this club got promoted out of this league, they had a group of men right the way through the squad.

“And that’s what I’ve got to aim for.

“We’ve got good technical players but there’s no use having that if your mentality is weak. Especially in this division, you need to stand up and be counted.”