Doncaster Rovers manager Paul Dickov speaks more about his sides 2-1 defeat to Bolton Wanderers on Tuesday.Doncaster Rovers were defeated by Bolton Wanderers at Keepmoat Stadium on Tuesday night, losing 2-1. Paul Dickov believes Rovers have every right to feel aggrieved not to have got something out of the game. Here’s what he had to say after the match.
“The first twenty minutes of the game was so open, probably the most open we’ve been in a long time and we paid the price for it by conceding two early goals.
“Once we sorted that out in the latter end of the first half and especially the second half, we feel very aggrieved not to have got something out of the game. I felt we deserved something.
“There was end to end stuff in the first half, and like I said the game was open. They’ve got good players and they capitalised on that. But in the second half the game was really played in one half. We put lots of pressure on them and should have got a penalty, I don’t know how it hasn’t been given.
“The problem at the start was that we were just too open. Our distances from back to front were too big. They started with a diamond shape and it just took a while for the players to sort it out. Having said that, once we got it sorted we looked strong, we passed the ball well, we got crosses in the box and there was a better tempo to the game. The reasons for all this is because our distances defensively were much better.
“It’s disappointing that we’ve waited until they’ve gone two nil up to actually start defending as a team. One thing I will give the boys a lot of credit for is their reaction to going two nil down, because when that happens early on in a game you can either sink or swim, and I have seen a lot out there tonight that gives me a lot of confidence going into these final few games.
“The boys were relentless, especially in the second half; in trying to do the right things by passing the ball, putting balls in the box, picking up loose balls. But as I’ve said before, big decisions define moments in games like this, and tonight we should have had a penalty. If their player has got the ball in the challenge the ball would go out of play in a different direction, and why would James Husband go down in the position he’s in. I believe it’s a stonewall penalty and made a difference to the game.
Richie Wellens returned to the side following an injury he picked up at Leeds, but had to be replaced after just 20 minutes.
“There’s been a couple of occasions this year where the players have put their bodies on the line for us and wanted to play when struggling with an injury. Richie (Wellens) wanted to play tonight and he had an injection, but it obviously didn’t work so the right thing to do was bring him off. Dean Furman replaced him and I thought he was fantastic tonight. The good news is that there’s no fracture or break, it’s just a nasty knock that Richie has so we will just have to wait for it to feel better.
“Lucas Neill felt his hamstring cramp up so we’ll assess him as well, but the good news is that Tamas came back on tonight and that is a big plus for us.
“I don’t want to talk about league tables, yes other teams are picking up results but there is also still 5 teams below us in the table. What I’ve seen tonight is character shown from these players. It would have been very easy to just give up because Bolton are a good team with a lot of talent and experience in their squad. But our boys have rolled up their sleeves and really given everything they’ve got to get a result, especially in the second half performance. If you’ve got a group of players who are going to do that, it always gives you a good chance going into games.
“David Cotterill scored a fantastic free kick, it was a great finish. But if there is any criticism in the second half, it’s that we didn’t work the goalkeeper enough. We hit the bar early on, the keeper has made numerous saves but whilst the amount of crosses we got in the box today is pleasing, when you’re doing that you also expect to get more attempts on target than we did.”
Rovers travel to Ipswich on Saturday, followed by a Good Friday fixture against Derby County at Keepmoat Stadium.