Doncaster Rovers: Summer is over: Dickov

Paul Dickov the new Doncaster Rovers manager. Picture: Andrew Roe
Paul Dickov the new Doncaster Rovers manager. Picture: Andrew Roe
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Any Rovers player relishing the prospect of a long summer break after an arduous title-winning season is in for a shock.

After promotion celebrations died down, players were told to report back for pre-season training on July 1.

But new boss Paul Dickov has turned party-pooper and says the players can expect a much shorter holiday: “A four week pre-season is no good for anyone to go into any season with, never mind one in the Championship,” Dickov said.

“The season starts on August 3 and when I arrived the players had been told to report back on July 1 and that would have only given us four weeks.

“You need a good six or seven weeks to have the right fitness levels for the start of the season.

“I want to hit the ground running.

“It will be a good time for me to get to know the players and likewise for them to learn how I work.

“It’s a massively important time for us.

“Everything you do has got to be game related and structured.

“You’ve got to have an eye on fitness levels for later in the season, there’s no point in peaking early on.

“I feel the plan I’ve got is going to be very beneficial.

“There’s already a good team spirit here but we want to make that better.

“There’s no point in settling for the good things, you always need to be striving for more.

One of Dickov’s main priorities currently is arranging the club’s pre-season friendlies.

With no matches arranged prior to his arrival, Dickov has been left scrambling for games.

He said: “There were no games arranged when I arrived. Ideally you’d be sorting your games in February or March.

“But I’m in touch with some of my contacts to try and arrange games and I’m hoping to get some quality games at the Keepmoat.”

A trip to Bradford City has been rubber-stamped for July 27. Rovers XI matches with Selby Town and Brodsworth Welfare have also been confirmed.