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Dickov: 'We Have To Keep Standards High'

31 January 2014

Doncaster Rovers manager Paul Dickov spoke to the official website ahead of Saturday's clash with Middlesbrough.

"We have looked a lot more solid the last couple of games and a lot more composed, especially at the back. The experience that some of the new guys have bought with them is invaluable and it rubs off on the rest of the team. I think its especially important to mention Paul Keegan since he has come back from injury. He protects the back four really well and allows the rest of our attacking players to go on and do their job so it works well. He is a top player. We've only conceded one goal in the last three matches so the proof is in the pudding.

"The lads at the back are big physical players, but as well as that they have shown that they can play good football. We saw that against Charlton with a number of them causing threats from set pieces. This is something we have missed lately and it boosts confidence around the whole team.

"We've also seen the freedom it give the attacking players, knowing that they have confidence in their team mates behind them.

"The lads know they have a chance of scoring when going forward and we just need to make sure we keep that door locked at the back.

"I'm really pleased with the last two home matches and keeping a clean sheet. Our football the other night against Charlton was fantastic, but for me it's the two clean sheets that are most important because we haven't had enough of those this year and goal difference can often be important come the end of the season.

"The most important thing is going into the match tomorrow is that we keep our standards high. We know Middlesbrough is going to be a tough game so we are going to need a similar performance to what we saw here against Wigan and Charlton. The pleasing thing against Charlton was our ball retention. We showed what we're capable of and what the end product can be when you move the ball quickly and keep it simple. We need to keep that up and continue pressing teams high up the pitch which should then put pressure on them.

"Since the new manager came in at Middlesbrough they have been very organised and hard to break down. They defend really well and have a lot of pace in their team which we've got to be mindful of and make sure we don't allow them to have too much time on the ball. Hopefully we can get on the front foot and really press them like we have done the last couple of games.

"But the team are playing well and their work rate the last few games has been outstanding, this has shown in the results. We just want to keep winning games and keep our standards high like we know we can do."

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