Rovers have laid down their criteria for the top job, including ‘a proven track record’, ‘commitment to the local community’ and ‘a pleasing and willing personality’.
Here’s my take on the most important qualities required by the next Rovers boss:
1. Possess a very clear identity/philosophy
Not since the heady days of Sean O’Driscoll have Rovers had a boss with an almost stubborn pattern of play and very evident style.
O’Driscoll’s culture was so successful, and easy on the eye, that fans have tended to look down on his successors and almost pre-judge their preferred playing style.
Doncaster don’t have to become ‘Arsenal of the North’ again. That’s in the past. But they do need to find a manager who can quickly get players and fans in tune with a very clear and distinct style of play.
2. Man management/motivational skills
Rovers possess some very talented individuals but they have not performed consistently or functioned effectively as a team for too long.
The ability to get the very best out of the players available really is a must.
3 Strong-minded and tactically astute
‘Pleasing and willing?’ Maybe one of the problems at Rovers is that it’s been too ‘nicey-nicey’ for too long.
The chosen manager cannot be afraid of making difficult decisions, or upsetting individuals, for the greater good of Doncaster Rovers.
Given the criticism that Paul Dickov took for what a lot of fans perceived as ‘tactical naivety’, someone with the ability to make game-changing decisions from the dug-out would make an instant impression.
4. Commitment to youth development
It’s all very well a prospective manager saying they are committed to youth development but Rovers need to find someone who WILL give youth a chance at first team level.
The owners’ very clear blueprint to develop more young players has the best long term interests of the club at heart but the only way it will ever work is if there is a commitment to it in the short term.
5. Strong contacts
Like it or not, Rovers are not willing to simply bankroll their way out of this division and must seek any advantage they can get against their League One rivals.
A strong contacts book, and the ability to bring in quality loan players when necessary, is essential. It was a major factor in why Dickov was hired and, in the main, he delivered on that count.
6. Good spokesperson
The new manager should be media friendly and project a positive image of the club.
The lack of other voices from behind the scenes meant Dickov was hung out to dry in some respects. People became tired of listening to him.
It’s the chairman, chief executive and owners’ prerogative to keep a low profile.
But, given that, their chosen manager has to form a positive connection with the fans both in person and via the media.