Doncaster Rovers: ‘More competition for places this season’ - Dickov

Picture by Howard Roe/AHPIX.com;Football;'Doncaster Rovers v Middlesbrough'25/7/2015 KO 3.00 pm; Keepmoat ;'copyright picture;Howard Roe;07973 739229''Rover's   '''' Richie Wellens wanted to play the full 90 minutes, said Paul Dickov. Photo: Howard Roe
Picture by Howard Roe/AHPIX.com;Football;'Doncaster Rovers v Middlesbrough'25/7/2015 KO 3.00 pm; Keepmoat ;'copyright picture;Howard Roe;07973 739229''Rover's '''' Richie Wellens wanted to play the full 90 minutes, said Paul Dickov. Photo: Howard Roe
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Rovers’ team picked itself too many times last season, Paul Dickov has admitted.

But the Scot has vowed that will not be the case this time around.

Dickov is keen to foster healthier competition for places among his tight knit squad.

And such was the encouraging nature of Saturday’s goalless draw with Middlesbrough in James Coppinger’s testimonial , he says those players currently not in possession of a shirt already face a battle to force their way into the side ahead of Doncaster’s League One opener against Bury on August 8.

“I want to create competition for places,” Dickov told The Star.

“At times last season maybe the team picked itself a bit too much, which leads to a little bit of complacency. I don’t think we’ll get that this year.

“The pleasing thing for me is that we’ve still got Paul Keegan, Nathan Tyson and Richard Chaplow to bring into the fold, which creates that competition for places.

“Those three lads are all top pros and they’ll have been watching the last two games knowing they’re going to have work ever so hard to try and get in there.”

Keegan, Tyson and Chaplow all have an outside chance of featuring against Sunderland on Wednesday but a more realistic target for the trio is Rovers’ final friendly against Wolves on Saturday.

“We’ve got to put the reins on them a little bit,” said Dickov.

“Like Richie [Wellens] [on Saturday], he wanted to stay on for the full 90 minutes but he had a slight calf strain the other night and we’ve got manage the lads through the games.

“I keep saying it: you can win all your pre-season games, you can lose all your pre-season games, but it means nothing until the season starts.

“We’ve just to got to make sure we’re bang on for the Bury game.”

Dickov said last week he hopes to add “one, maybe two” new faces before the season gets underway. He is keen to bolster his options in the attacking third and is thought to be closing in on a player who can operate wide or through the middle.