Paul Dickov has hailed the attitude of his players despite the 3-1 defeat to Leeds United - with particular praise for substitutes Billy Paynter and Mark Duffy.
Striker Paynter has seen limited chances in the Doncaster Rovers starting line-up this season following the thriving partnership between Chris Brown and Theo Robinson.
However, Paynter came on in the 60th minute and made an instant impact against his old club - cancelling out Scott Wootton’s earlier opener with a powerful header for his first Rovers goal of the season.
“His attitude has been top class, I can’t speak highly enough of him,” said Dickov.
“Through the form of Chris Brown and Theo (Robinson) he has been kept out of the team.
“He’s worked hard and come on and, against his old club, got his goal.”
Dickov rang the changes tactically after the restart as Leeds enjoyed the better spells of possession and carved out some good chances in the Capital One Cup tie.
Those switches included bringing on forward-thinking midfielder Duffy who caused Brian McDermott’s men a few problems at the back with his pace and movement.
Despite the tie seeing Leeds progress into the third round following a Matt Smith header and Ross McCormack penalty, Dickov was keen to look for the positives and highlighted the determination of his squad.
“One thing I will say about this group is the ones that aren’t playing have got a top attitude, they want the team to do well.” said the Scotsman.
“They train ever so hard getting ready for their chance. I thought the two boys who came on (Paynter and Duffy) did ever so well.”
The game also saw a Rovers debut for former Aston Villa and Brentford forward Harry Forrester.
Speaking in his post-match press conference, Dickov was keen to stress that Forrester was still short of match fitness but progressing well.
“He only started training ten days ago and got 35 minutes in the reserve game and then ten minutes against Leeds. We’ll get him through until after the Bournemouth game and we’ve got a two week period where - unfortunately for him - he’ll be doing a pre-season.”