Paul looking for positives at the Priestfield.Paul Dickov said that his team’s 2-1 defeat to Gillingham earlier in the season did Doncaster Rovers “a favour”.
The former Manchester City striker who famously scored a play-off final goal against the Gills at Wembley, takes his side to the Priestfield Stadium on Saturday looking to haunt the Kent club once again.
“We are a completely different side [from December],” said Dickov.
“It was a kick up the backside and did us a favour in many ways.
“They’re on a great run at the minute with only one defeat in their last nine. We know it’s a tough place to go and it’ll be as tough, if not tougher than Preston was the other night but we take a lot of confidence – particularly from our second half performance at Deepdale.”
While a draw at Preston was seen as a positive by many, Dickov bemoaned a late Jermaine Beckford equaliser; though not nearly as much as midfielder Paul Keegan’s injury.
Dickov said: “Keegs is struggling a little bit; he’s been to the specialist for a scan. It looks as though he’s done a little bit of damage to his cartilage.
“Sometimes you can get away with it and other times you can need an operation. If he needs an operation then we could be looking at up to six weeks out.
“He’s been fantastic and it will be a blow but recently we’ve lost him for a couple of games, James Coppinger, Luke McCullough etc. and we’ve coped with it. It gives someone else a chance, if he’s not right.”
Rovers can call upon striker Curtis Main – scorer of a consolation goal against Gillingham in the reverse – who has started to find form at just the right time.
“We’re drumming it in to him that he can be a player who gets 15 or 20 goals a season, we’re working with him about getting in the box and making runs off the shoulder rather than coming short for the ball,” said former Scottish international striker, Dickov.
“The one thing I will say about him though is that he’s so desperate to do so well that he can try too hard.
“We’ve spoken to him and his attitude is top class, he’s a perfectionist so if things aren’t quite going right, he’ll beat himself up about it but we’ve told him to go out there and relax and enjoy his football, which we’ve seen recently.”