After promotion from League One last season, Doncaster Rovers are adapting to life in the Championship under new manager Paul Dickov. Ahead of Saturday’s meeting at the Keepmoat Stadium, Glen Wilson, editor of the Popular STAND fanzine, tells us what to expect from the home side…
What are your expectations for 2013-14?
At the start of the season I was expecting nothing other than a struggle, but I’ve been encouraged from what I’ve seen thus far. So whilst the disparity created by parachute payments means looking at the top 10 is fanciful, we may be able at least to look higher up the table’s second page than the anticipated long slog for 21st.
What’s the fans’ general opinion of Paul Dickov?
He was initially unveiled to a general shrug of indifference, but a combination of the signings and statements he’s made, alongside the way the side has played so far, means that he’s currently enjoying as close to 100% approval rating as a football manager can.
Have there been many changes since last season?
Aside from the change in manager, there have been notable additions right down the spine of the team in the form of Ross Turnbull, Bongani Khumalo, Richie Wellens, and Theo Robinson which have brought a much needed strength to the side. And we’ve a new kit, and we’re all a bit older and wiser too.
What can we expect tactically?
Most likely a solid and dependent 4-4-2 that moves the ball well when given the opportunity, but we did experiment with a 4-2-3-1 early season that looked like it had potential and with Wellens doubtful for Saturday it may be deployed once again.
Who are the key players to watch out for?
Khumalo will win almost everything in the air, Wellens makes the midfield tick, Chris Brown is in great form too, whilst teenager James Husband continues to impress at full-back. Louis Tomlinson is sadly injured.
What’s going to happen on Saturday?
Hard to be sure to be honest, the last two games have brought good performances but poor results; it sounds obvious but a lot depends on how well we take early chances. Rovers starting brightly has been a given of late though, hopefully that will continue.
You can follow Glen on Twitter: Follow @vivarovers
And Popular STAND is very much worth a read.
Image: By Thomas13 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons