Doncaster Rovers: We’re raring to go - Dickov

Bongani Khumalo will make his full Doncaster debut against Blackpool.
Bongani Khumalo will make his full Doncaster debut against Blackpool.

Hard taskmaster Paul Dickov has admitted his players have been counting down the days to the big kick off - just to get a break from him!

Dickov has jokingly urged his men to take out their frustration for a summer of double and triple training sessions on Blackpool tomorrow.

But Rovers’ new boss is convinced that their hard work will pay off in the long run ahead of Rovers’ eagerly anticipated return to the Championship.

“The squad are raring to go,” said Dickov.

“The last couple of days we’ve toned the training down a bit in preparation.

“On Saturday they can take all their frustrations out that they’ve had with me for absolutely hammering them in training.

“The one thing they are is fit. They’re looking really sharp.

“Now Saturday is where it matters.

“The lads know how we want them to play, we don’t want them going out there with any fear,” he added.

“We’ve taken the shackles off them after a really good six week training period.

“We just want them to believe they can go out there and win games - starting on Saturday.

“It’ll be a tough test.

“Paul [Ince] has got them playing some nice football in pre-season and they’ve added a couple of goalscorers in Michael Chopra and Steven Davies, but we’ll be going out there to win the game.”

Goalkeeper Ross Turnbull and centre back Bongani Khumalo are almost certain to make their Doncaster debuts against the Tangerines after completing moves to the Keepmoat Stadium this week.

Dickov, meanwhile, was coy on the possibility of further additions but did not rule out a late swoop.

“Ross is a keeper with good experience in this division and he has a proven track record,” said Dickov of his new number one.

“He’s a keeper we’ve looked at for a while and he’s impressed us in training this week.

“Bongs is a player who I went out to watch in Greece last season. We’ve got to be thankful to Tottenham for helping us do a loan deal.

“He’s got a lot of experience and he’ll bring much-needed pace to the back four.

“The one thing you’ll see straight away is that he’s very competitive and with Rob Jones alongside him and Ross behind them, we think that’s a good base.

He added: “It’s unlikely there’ll be any more new additions [before Saturday] but never say never.”

Out of contract pair Liam Wakefield and Jon Maxted signed new deals this week.

Dickov is still weighing up a move for Slovakian goalkeeper Marian Kello as back-up to Turnbull, while the Star understands that a deal for Richie Wellens is not dead in the water despite investment talks stalling.