Rovers duo’s quick return after caps

Dean Furman scored for South Africa
Dean Furman scored for South Africa

Paul Dickov was not about to let the honour of picking up international caps interfere with his preparations for Rovers’ trip to Huddersfield.

Dickov made a special request to under-fire South Africa boss Gordon Igesund for the early return of Dean Furman and Bongali Khumalo to ensure as much time on the training ground with the pair as possible.

And after Igesund agreed, Furman and Khumalo will make an immediate return to Doncaster and rejoin training on Tuesday.

“We needed to get both of them back after the first game because the second one is a friendly and I felt our needs were the more important,” Dickov said.

“We were happy for them to go away for the first one because it was a World Cup qualifier and South Africa had a chance of getting through.

“But we’ve come to an agreement that makes sense for everyone concerned and we’re grateful for that.”

Both players started Saturday’s World Cup qualifier against Botswana, with Furman netting in a 4-1 win which was not enough to prevent South Africa’s elimination.

Dickov will have to go without striker Theo Robinson until Thursday when he completes his international duty with Jamaica.

Robinson was an unused substitute in the Reggae Boyz’ goalless draw with Panama and he will remain with the squad for another qualifier with Costa Rica.

Luke McCullough will also return on Tuesday after the weekend away with Northern Ireland U21s.

Dickov cheekily admitted he would rather players not leave on international duty but acknowledged the honour bestowed on the club.

He said: “As a manager you want them here, seeing them every day doing what you want them to do and working towards goals for you team.

“But it’s a big thing for players and this club.

“For us to have four international players away is a boost and shows that we’re doing plenty of things right here.”