Doncaster Rovers: Formation switch was about positivity insists Dickov

David Cotterill played behind Rovers' front two in the new 3-4-1-2 system deployed at Ipswich.
David Cotterill played behind Rovers' front two in the new 3-4-1-2 system deployed at Ipswich.
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Paul Dickov could not be accused of resting on his laurels in the bid to secure survival for Rovers.

Dickov debuted a three-at-the-back line up for Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Ipswich.

He insists the switch to 3-4-1-2 was not going back to the drawing board but instead trying something he had been hoping to deploy for a while.

“It’s a system we’ve thought about playing a few times but with the injuries to the centre halves, we’ve not had the personnel to do it,” Dickov said.

“Now Gabby Tamas is back, it’s a natural position for him and obviously James Coppinger is now familiar with the defensive role as well as going forward.

“It’s a system we felt that could work, particularly because we wanted to get bodies behind the ball. We wanted to be solid at the back at Ipswich because we knew it would be tough.

“The players deserved plenty of credit on Saturday because we changed it after we went behind and they competed fantastically well to get in the game.

“It was a bit gut-wrenching to come away with nothing after the players put in that effort and desire.

“It gives me plenty of hope for the next four games because performances like that will pick up points.”

Rovers struggled to get on the front foot in the first half at Portman Road but Dickov insisted that was more to do with the way Ipswich played rather than any negativity on Rovers’ part.

He said: “We stressed to the players that it was a positive system, that we wanted to get at them and try and create things. We took it as an attacking system.

“I just don’t think we were allowed to play.

“Ipswich pressed us incredibly well from the start and we couldn’t get going.

“Credit to the lads because we made a real go of it in the second half.

“To have positive performances, you need to play positive football. We did that.

“I believe we’ve got good players in the team and you use them by passing the ball and being really positive in everything you do.

“That’s something as a group we’ve got to take forward.”