Doncaster Rovers: Quandary over Abdul Razak for Paul Dickov

Abdul Razak
Abdul Razak
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Paul Dickov admits it will be hard to not throw Abdul Razak straight into action for Rovers tonight – if his international clearance arrives in time.

The former Manchester City midfielder yesterday signed a deal until the end of the season but his availability for tonight’s League One clash with Notts County is unlikely to be known until the 11th hour.

While keen to reward his midfield players for their impressive recent form, Dickov says Razak’s qualities mean he faces a quandary over whether to start the 22-year-old.

“We’re hopeful the clearance might come through for Tuesday night,” Dickov said.

“It’s a difficult one because the lads who played on Saturday did really well but I do believe without putting too much pressure on Abdul, that we’ve signed a top player.

“Watching him over the last two or three years, he can adapt to any situation. He could play anywhere in the middle of the park, be it in a two, three or a diamond.

“He’s got a bit of everything for a midfielder – a bit of energy, he’s a tough boy and he’s got real quality on the ball as well.

“We’ve got three midfielders that bring those attributes already. Abdul has a bit of all three about him.

“He’s very confident on the ball and we feel he’ll complement the midfielders we’ve already got.”

Razak has not played since December 14 but Dickov is confident he will be fit to feature tonight if called upon, after witnessing him in training with Rovers for the first time yesterday.

The Ivory Coast international joined Rovers on a free from Greek top flight side OFI Crete, whom he joined last summer after an unsuccessful spell with West Ham.

While Rovers have struggled so far to compensate for the loss of on form Dean Furman – who last night captained South Africa in their Africa Cup of Nations opener against Algeria – Dickov says he does not see Razak as a direct replacement for his fellow midfielder.

Dickov said: “He’s a completely different sort of player than Dean.

“He has plenty of energy and his physicality is very good, he doesn’t mind a tackle.

“So he’s like Dean in that way but he won’t be playing in the same manners as Dean.”

Dickov revealed Nathan Tyson was not fit enough to start against Barnsley last weekend but could be set for a starting berth tonight at the Keepmoat.

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