Rovers keep Man Utd link

Sam Johnstone is a toop goalkeeper, says Paul Dickov
Sam Johnstone is a toop goalkeeper, says Paul Dickov
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Paul Dickov believes that having Federico Macheda and Sam Johnstone on loan last season can only help Rovers continue their strong relationship with Manchester United.

Doncaster’s chief has previously spoken of the good rapport he shares with the Red Devils, particularly during the managerial tenure of fellow Scotsman David Moyes, which helped capture the loan deals of striker Macheda and goalkeeper Johnstone.

And with Man United appointing Dutchman Louis van Gaal as manager, Dickov hopes their strong links can continue with the former Premier League champions as he looks to build up the same rapport with the current Holland boss.

“They were happy with how their players were treated by everyone in the club,” said Dickov.

“If we need to go back there in the future, having those two players come here already will help us.”

He went on: “We try and create relationships with other clubs and take time out to go and see them and meet them.

“We watch them train and try and get a rapport going so they understand what is going on here - definitely having Johnstone and Macheda here has helped.”

Dickov also hailed the form of Johnstone, whose impressive displays for Doncaster led to the United youngster being called up for England under-21 duty.

“I don’t think his call-up to the under-21s was a surprise,” said Dickov.

“I know that Gareth (Southgate - U21s head coach) and the scouts were down here a lot watching Sam.

“Sam’s a top ‘keeper. We said that when we had him. I think everybody realised that when they watched him play and they’ll realise the potential he’s got and how good he’s going to be.

“Manchester United were delighted with the progress that he made while he was here and that bodes well for the future.”