Doncaster Rovers: There will be no warm welcome from Dean Saunders says Paul Dickov

Dean Saunders
Dean Saunders

Tonight will bring the first reunion between Rovers and former manager Dean Saunders.

But current boss Paul Dickov hardly expects the Welshman to welcome his former employers with open arms.

Crawley may be deep within the League One relegation zone, but Dickov has warned his players Saunders’ side will present a tough test tonight.

“I’m expecting it to be really tough,” Dickov said. “Dean always sets his teams up to be difficult to play against.

“It’s going to be a difficult night but I’m looking forward to seeing Dean.”

There are considerable differences between Dickov’s Rovers side and that of Saunders, who opted for pure practicality as he tried to build a side to win promotion from League One before jumping ship to Wolves.

Though Dickov instead favours creativity built upon a strong defensive base, he does recognise he shares a similar priority for a strong work ethic with one of his Rovers predecessors.

And he felt Saunders did an excellent job in charge at the Keepmoat.

He said: “Dean’s teams all work hard.

“You get no where without working hard.

“Dean’s teams have done it and he did that here.

“I’d like to think it’s something we instill in our players as well.

“Dean did a great job here.

“Rightly, he got the chance of getting the move because of the job he had done here and he was unlucky with what happened to him at Wolves.

“He put this club in a great position to push for promotion in the second half of the season.

“There were still some good players here when I came in and some of them are still here.

“The likes of James Coppinger, Paul Keegan, big Rob Jones.”

Crawley have picked up five points from seven games since Saunders took over from John Gregory, who stepped down due to health problems.

Despite Crawley’s struggles, Dickov says there can be no reading into their league position.

And he believes Rovers could easily find themselves suffering similar frustration to that they endured in the goalless draw between the sides at the Keepmoat in September.

He said: “Crawley were very unlucky against Yeovil.

“We can’t look into runs or positions because this league is that tight, teams are picking up points off each other.

“You can’t get complacent. We’ll be in for a tough game.

“We were disappointed with the game when they came here because we created enough chances to win it.

“Defensively they were very resolute.

“They will be again on Tuesday night and it’s up to us to try and break it down.”

Crawley could field former Rovers midfielder Lee Fowler, who joined the club last month.

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