Doncaster Rovers boss Paul Dickov takes positives from narrow defeat against Sheffield United ‘a team who are right up there’

Boss Paul Dickov says Rovers have plenty of good things to work on
Boss Paul Dickov says Rovers have plenty of good things to work on
Have your say

Paul Dickov was quick to dismiss suggestions he was feeling the pressure as Rovers slipped to their seventh defeat of the season.

A sublime Jamie Murphy strike in the second half saw South Yorkshire rivals Sheffield United take the derby day spoils with a 1-0 victory over Doncaster.

That result ended a recent two-game unbeaten league run for Dickov’s men as they returned to the Keepmoat for the first time since October 25.

However, the Scotsman preferred to look at the positives as he felt his side - which included returning loanee Enda Stevens - more than matched the Blades during Saturday’s foggy fixture.

“No, not at all. Not at all,” said Dickov when asked if he was feeling the pressure following the defeat.

“I think what we’ve seen in the last few games - we’ve drawn against a very good MK Dons team, we’ve beaten Bradford and we’ve matched a team [Sheffield United] who I believe are right up there.

“The result didn’t quite go our way but from that point of view we’ve just got to carry on and keep improving the performances.

“I thought the boys at the back did well without our two first-choice centre halves.

“Enda’s come in for his first game after not a lot of football too, so there’s lots of things to build on.”

The game saw a red card for Paddy McCarthy following a foul in the box on James Coppinger just after the hour mark.

However, Harry Forrester failed to dispatch his penalty and three minutes later Murphy struck the match-winning killer blow.

Dickov defended Forrester after the attacking midfielder stepped up to take the penalty despite Nathan Tyson being the club’s spot-kick specialist.

“Harry fancied taking it. Nathan had been struggling with his knee and his calf, Harry wanted to take it. It was a good strike and a great save from the goalkeeper,” Dickov said.

“Nathan is the penalty taker, we know that, but we nearly took him off at half time because he’d been struggling a bit. We wanted to get him out there and running around a bit more but he didn’t feel quite right.

“If Nathan had felt comfortable taking it, he would have grabbed the ball and taken it.”