Manager Paul Dickov spoke exclusively to Rovers Player and gave an update on the work that is going on behind the scenes as the club prepares for next season in the Championship.
Dickov, who was appointed Rovers’ manager a fortnight ago, has started the squad building processes required to ensure Rovers are successful next season.
Since his appointment, Dickov has completed a course with the FA whilst also trying to tie down the out of contract players at the club.
“It’s been busy,” he said.
“I’ve been down at St George’s Park for a course with the FA over the last 12/13 days; an undertaking which has been good for my education. I’ve also been busy speaking to agents and players, as well as trying to sort out pre-season.
“At the minute we are looking to get the players that are out of contract sorted. We are working on this but it’s quite difficult because some of them are on holiday. I’m someone who likes to sit down face to face with a player and have a conversation with him. That’s been ongoing, and we’re planning on building a strong squad for the Championship next season.
“We want to get things tied down as soon as possible, and the offers to the out of contract players will be going in this week. We’re hopeful that things will be sorted out pretty soon, and then we can start looking to bring more quality players in.
“On the PFA list this year there are probably around one thousand players who are going to be out of contract; what we’ve got to try and do is get quality players. The players that we do get have to come in with the right mentality and at the right price – I believe that doing this is one of my strengths.
“It would be wrong of me to comment on names of players. I see that there has been lots of speculation banded about already about players we have been linked to or are trying to sign. I know the targets we have in mind, and with some of them we are part way down the road in discussion, but there are things that you can’t rush.
“I don’t envisage that there will be any announcements this week, but within the next 2-3 weeks things will start taking shape.
“The players are going to be back in for pre-season a lot sooner than they were expecting so they can ‘hit the ground running’. By the time we reach the middle of pre-season I would like to think that all the work will have been completed, or the majority of it at least. It is important that you use that time to integrate new players into the group, to get that team spirit and bond right, and really look forward to the start of the season”.
When asked about the character of players that he will be recruiting, Paul responded with the following: “In the Championship in order to have any chance of success you need to get players with the right mentality; players who know the division and have played a lot of games in that division.
“We are looking for experienced players of the right age, but we are also mindful of the fact that we can get one or two loan signings also. One thing I don’t want to do is flood the squad with loan signings; we want them to be Doncaster Rovers players. We have got to look at the kids that we have got here before we look at kids elsewhere; it’s about building a squad. It’s a puzzle at the minute but we are building the foundations of what will become a strong unit eventually.
“In the short time that I have been a manager I have been very fortunate that other managers and other clubs have really wanted to help me out. The main thing about your contacts is that they can let you know certain things about players that you might not know yourself. For example, about their mentality, their lifestyle, where they live (something which is important as well). I can assure you that when we are signing a player here it will be done for the right reasons. Due diligence will be carried out on the player. We can all recognise a good player when we see him out there on the pitch, but he also needs to be of the right character to fit into what we want to do here.”