The season starts here. That was the message from Paul Dickov after Doncaster Rovers showed a dogged determination to draw with high-flying MK Dons.
The Scot was pleased with the desire his side - which included new loan signing Andy Butler and fit-again striker Curtis Main - showed in Saturday’s goalless draw. And he says the display must now act as a springboard as fifth bottom Rovers look to climb away from the League One drop zone.
“It’s a starting point,” said Dickov. “I know we’re 13 games into the season now, but that has to be a starting point for us now.
“I don’t want to keep bleating on about it but we knew it would be a difficult start to the season because we had ten days to prepare for it.
“We were playing catch up with everybody else. We know now we can compete against the best teams in this division, but now we have to perform on a regular basis.”
After Dickov’s name was booed by a section of fans before kick-off, the applause that Rovers left the field to at full time would have been music to the manager’s ears.
However, Dickov felt Doncaster had done enough to win the game: “I’m slightly disappointed we didn’t win the game,” he said.
“We were much improved, defensively especially. We’ve kept a clean sheet against one of the best footballing teams in the division, who’ll be up there vying for a top two finish.
“We were the better team for long periods, especially the second half. They had a five-minute spell towards the end but apart from that I was delighted with the performance.”
Meanwhile, Dickov is hopeful that James Coppinger will return to the fray this weekend after turning his ankle in training on Friday and missing Saturday’s stalemate.