Doncaster Rovers: Nothing Fawlty about improving midfielder De Val

Doncaster Rovers' Marc De Val Fernandez. Picture: Andrew Roe
Doncaster Rovers' Marc De Val Fernandez. Picture: Andrew Roe
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Paul Dickov may have likened Marc De Val to Fawlty Towers waiter Manuel but there was nothing bumbling about the performance served up most recently by the Spanish ace.

The 24-year-old has endured a difficult first year as a Rovers player, struggling to acclimatise to the English game.

But Dickov is delighted with De Val’s progress, which culminated with an excellent performance against Preston on Tuesday – only his fourth start for the club – even if he did bring up a comparison with a certain sitcom icon.

When asked about whether De Val has culturally adapted, Dickov responded: “I don’t know about that.

“He kept saying qué, qué whenever I asked him a question.

“He was like Manuel out of Fawlty Towers.”

On a much more serious line, Dickov was full of praise for the development of De Val, a player of whom he previously said: “No one would be happier than me to see Marc succeed at this club.”

The former Real Madrid B man was one of the major positives as Rovers turned in a much-improved performance following the weekend’s defeat to Port Vale.

Dickov said: “Marc did ever so well.

“He’s been patient, he’s listened to us, even last year.

“He’s got real quality on the ball.

“Marc had an inkling to play that killer ball every time he had it.

“But now he’s got it in his head how we want to play.

“He’s got to know his team mates, his English has got a lot better.

“I thought he was excellent against Preston.”

De Val suffered medial ligament damage last summer, shortly after joining the club.

As Paul Keegan and Richie Wellens forged a strong midfield partnership, the Spanish midfielder found himself with scant first team opportunities.

But with Rovers’ squad now small, he has a chance of holding down a place.