Gaffer matter-of-fact over notable form shift.Paul Dickov said that things “had to” change before Christmas for his side to go on their current run over the festive period.
Rovers have picked up two wins and two draws since a 2-1 home defeat to Gillingham in December and Dickov alluded to the fact that that result could have been the catalyst for an upturn in fortunes.
“People were telling me in late November / early December we were getting relegated, we sit here now not far off the play-offs,” he said.
“There’s been a lot of positivity from the Bristol City game and before that. It gave us a gauge of where we’ve come from because we were better than them for most of the game and didn’t go on and win which was disappointing.
“The end of the month will give us a really good gauge of where we are and where we’re going.”
Dickov’s pragmatic approach isn’t without pre-planning and his groundwork on shoring up his defence has paid dividends so early in the January transfer window with Luke McCullough and Andy Butler the notable epitomes.
“Luke is a man of few words at times and I spoke to him in December about it and we got it sorted and it was one of the easiest deals we’ve done,” said Dickov.
“It was the same with Andy as he wanted to come and wanted to sign. There were slightly different circumstances on that front because of his parent club.
“But overall, including Enda (Stevens), Sam (Johnstone) and Reece (Wabara), there was little difference and there was a huge desire from them all to sign.
“We wanted, at the start of the season, a long term plan and said it wouldn’t happen overnight but slowly and surely we’ve got people sorted on long term contracts, it’s the way forward. It’s not always possible to hand out two or three year contracts.”
Dickov, who returns to his former employees Oldham Athletic, said he was exploring his options in the transfer window, but that would not detract from the battle of the roses clash at Boundary Park.
“We’re looking and speaking to a few people at the minute but whether something will be done, we don’t know. Whether it’s early or late, again we don’t know but we go about our business quietly and without much fuss.
“Oldham have got a lot of good players and we talk about us being three points off the play-offs but so are they and they might benefit from a bit of extra rest.
“We go there knowing that we’re playing well, on the front foot and picking up results but I don’t want that confidence to turn to complacency.”