Rovers ‘not in the realms of must-win games yet’ - Dickov

Paul Dickov
Paul Dickov

Doncaster Rovers are not yet into the realms of must-win games, according to boss Paul Dickov.

Back-to-back home defeats have cranked up the importance of tomorrow’s trip to the Ricoh Arena to face a Coventry City side brimming with confidence under new boss Tony Mowbray.

Rovers, in the worst case scenario, could find themselves seven points adrift of the top six with eight to play on Saturday night. That gap could also be closed to just one point.

However, Dickov is unwilling to label this weekend’s game as ‘must-win’ and says there will be plenty more twists and turns in the race for the top six before the end of the season.

“It’s not a must-win,” said Dickov.

“The division’s that crazy we could have got a fantastic point [against Swindon] and somebody else could have won and we’d have been five points off [sixth].

“There’s seven or eight teams in and around it at the moment and they’ve all got to play each other.

“Everybody’s going to be dropping points.

“The main thing is what I’ve said all along - if we’re in touching distance going into it [the final few games], I’ll be happy.”

Teams finishing in sixth spot in League One in recent seasons have typically finished with a points total in the region of 70-75 (Rovers currently have 50 points).

Dickov, though, says that number will be lower this time around.

“I don’t know [the number of points required to get in the top six],” he said.

“I don’t think anybody can predict it this year.

“I don’t think it will be anywhere near the points total it has been in previous years, purely because everybody’s beating each other.

“We’ve still got MK Dons, Sheffield United, Bradford, Fleetwood and Rochdale to play, all teams that are in and around us.

“Within that they’re all playing each other and also the likes of Bristol City, Preston and Chesterfield.

“So no one is going to get maximum points, I guarantee that much.

“We’ve just got to make sure we look after ourselves.

“Back-to-back wins, or a decent run over three or four games, can get you right back up there and we know as a squad we’re good enough to go on a run like that.

“All our focus now is on a nine-game season. We feel we’ve got a great chance.”

James Coppinger, who missed the defeats to Peterborough and Swindon, has trained this week but will be assessed today before a final decision on his fitness.