Gaffer speaks to the press ahead of Blues home clash.
Recently nominated manager of the month, Paul Dickov, said that Saturday’s fixture against relegation rivals Birmingham City was “as big, if not bigger than the last two games against Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds.”
“Our home form has been fantastic and it’s against a team that’s in and around us. We still don’t feel as though we’re safe yet. We know there’s a gap but a result on Saturday will go a long way to helping us achieve what we want to do,” he said.
The Blues, under Lee Clark, have picked up eight wins on their travels as opposed to just two at St. Andrews, while Rovers have turned the Keepmoat Stadium in to a fortress of late and consecutive wins over Huddersfield, Watford and the Owls contributed to Dickov’s recognition from the Football League.
“I’ve never been one for personal awards throughout my career. I was lucky enough as a player to win a few but you cant do it unless you have people alongside you working hard and I’ve got a fantastic group of players here who work ever so hard. It’s a big thank you to all my players and staff as well,” said Dickov, aware of the fact that the players who have put the club in a strong position cannot rest on their laurels.
“As much as the performance and result last Saturday were fantastic, we can’t get complacent. We have to keep on at the players to let them know what they can achieve, but also make them aware that if we don’t achieve it, what the consequences are – that’s something that’s really driving us on at the minute and something that I, as the manager, drill in to the players every day. There are seven games left which are massive and they start on Saturday.”
Richie Wellens, who was taken off at Leeds last week, should return following a precautionary x-ray.
“Richie took quite a bad kick on his foot and we took him off but he’s had an x-ray and he’s fine. He’s going to train before the game. We’ve got a healthy looking squad, we’ve got players out of the team chomping at the bit and the lads in the team are buzzing at the minute and everyone knows that they’ve got to perform to keep their place which I think has shown in the results and performances which we’ve been having as well.”
A win on Saturday would see Rovers open up a 6 point gap over the Blues who have former Rovers loanee Ferderico Macheda bidding to save the Midlanders.
“We know he is a top finisher and we can’t give him a chance. Going forward they’re a very good team. Their form away from home has been decent so we’ll have to be on our guard,” Dickov said, ahead of a home double header for the south Yorkshire side.
“We managed to get back to back home wins lately and it would be great to do that up against Birmingham on Saturday and Bolton on Tuesday.”
The whole of Paul Dickov’s pre-match press conference is available on RoversPlayer.