Dean Furman’s international commitments have disrupted his Doncaster Rovers career, Paul Dickov has admitted.
But Rovers’ boss insists a fully flying Furman will always be one of the first names on his teamsheet.
Furman’s early-season form in a Rovers shirt was somewhat underwhelming before the South African international recently jetted off to play for his country in Africa Cup of Nations qualifying.
The midfielder earned rave reviews for his performances against Chad and Nigeria but has found himself on bench duty since returning to South Yorkshire, playing no part in Rovers’ defeat at Bristol City and their goalless draw with Crawley.
Dickov said: “I’ve spoken to Dean a lot about this, even going back to our Oldham days.
“It’s very difficult when he doesn’t literally join up with the squad until the Friday evening and we’ve got a game on the Saturday.
“There’s a lot of travelling involved, not just to and from South Africa but when they played Sudan the other week, for instance, I think they had a 12-hour journey after the game.
“Dean was physically shattered when he came back on the Friday.
“So he knows it’s difficult.
“He also knows that when he’s at his best I want him in my team.
“But there is the danger if he’s going away for ten days and playing double-headers and training and travelling a lot, physically and mentally he’s not going to be one hundred per cent when he comes back.”