Aggression is the word of the moment at Doncaster Rovers.
Do not fear – Paul Dickov’s masterplan for a derby day win on Saturday is not to match the Yorkshire rivals in their traditional ‘Dirty Leeds’ tactics.
Hot shot forward Ross McCormack need not prepare for a good kicking nor should boss Brian McDermott be looking for a way to combat bully-boy tactics.
Instead, according to striker Chris Brown, Dickov is preaching channelled aggression that will see Rovers not give Leeds a minute’s peace.
And Brown believes, should the approach be successful, Rovers can once again reproduce the same thrills they have ignited already this season.
“The manager wants us to be aggressive with the ball and without it,” Brown told the Star.
“Teams in this league have got very good players and a lot of Premier League quality.
“The only way to stop them is to get in their faces.
“If we don’t do that, it doesn’t matter who you’re playing, it’s always going to be difficult.
“The QPR game a fortnight ago was the best we’ve played this season I thought.
“We were on the front foot, pressing them high up the pitch and they didn’t really know how to deal with that.
“I think that might be the secret for us.
“When we get at the opposition it means when we get the ball we can play our own game from a good position.
“Against Bolton last weekend we didn’t do it, we didn’t make life difficult for them.
“When that happens we tend to drop a bit deep and struggle to get going.”
There is certainly a feeling that Rovers need to get back on track following the poor performance and disappointing defeat at Bolton.
And Brown insists it is important Rovers come through the busy end to the year strongly.
He said: “We picked up four points from the last three games so it isn’t a bad return.
“If we can do the same over the Christmas period, or make a good start to that in the couple of games before it then it’ll make life a lot easier.
“One win and you jump up three or four places but you fall back down just as quickly if you lose.”
On the theme of aggression, aggressive seems the perfect term to describe Brown’s recovery from an ankle injury that threatened to keep him out until the New Year.
There was more than a slight element of surprise when the talismanic striker was appeared on the bench at Bolton, even more so when he came on for the second half.
He said: “I didn’t expect to be back so soon at all but I knew after a week it has settled down so I asked to try and kick on a little bit.
“I’d done a little bit with the sports scientist during the week and trained Friday.
“I wasn’t on the list to travel but I spoke to the manager and told him I felt all right, putting it in his hands.
“He asked how I’d feel about travelling and being on the bench so I was obviously pleased to do that.
“I thought I might get on for the last ten minutes at most but I felt fine, despite blowing a bit.
“I don’t like missing games. Even though it was a bad result and a bad performance, I just wanted to be back involved again.”
Brown says he feels in good condition after a week or hard training and is waiting to see if he gets the nod from Dickov to return to the starting XI.
The 29-year-old – who celebrated his birthday earlier this week – is desperate to start against a Leeds outfit who impressed him when the two sides met in the Capital One Cup earlier this season.
He said: “I thought they were brilliant that night.
“They’re very strong and they’ve got some really good players.
“Earlier in the season we just seemed to struggle to combat their midfield which was changing all the time.
“But this is a different game.
“We’ve done well against the so-called bigger clubs this season.
“I’m sure the lads will perform.”