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Dickov Lays Down Dale Gauntlet

21 November 2014

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Gaffer challenges side to start scoring more freely and "put a run together."

Paul Dickov has called for his side to be more clinical ahead of the forthcoming trip to Rochdale, despite scoring four goals in midweek.

The Rovers boss was reflecting on Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Sheffield United, where a missed penalty – with the score at 0-0 – arguably changed the course of the game.

“We have to be more clinical because we do create chances and we need a bit of quality, whether that be from the forwards or anyone throughout the team,” opened Dickov.

“We’ve looked more solid recently as a unit which gives you a base to build from and get a result.

“It will be a tough game for us on Saturday and people will look at the United game and think the performance wasn’t that great but it's all about fine lines.”

Rovers returned to winning ways with a comfortable 4-1 win on Tuesday night against Weston-Super-Mare of the Vanarama Conference South in the FA Cup first round, but should find their task a whole lot harder when they cross the Pennines to face a Rochdale side on the fringe of the play-off places and exceeding all expectations.

“Keith Hill's a top manager who likes to play football with some top players in his team. I know they had a narrow win over Northampton and then a narrow defeat last week but they’ve won seven out of nine so they’re one of the form teams in the division,” said Dickov.

“We'll go there as always looking to win the game but we know its going to be a tough game; every game is in this league because different hurdles get put in front of you but its how you react to it.

“Rochdale are a good team that pass the ball with good players and a system that's difficult to play against so we've made the players aware of that. Sometimes our lads can get complacent and that’s the worse thing you can do in football.”

Rovers, should they win at Spotland tomorrow, would reduce the gap between themselves and eighth placed Dale to just five points with a game in hand.

Dickov parted, “The play-offs were something that were there at the start of the season but weren’t a priority for us because we wanted to assemble the best possible team with what we've got and there's some big teams with big resources in this division and we want to compete with them.”

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