Doncaster Rovers: Dean Furman’s frustration at substitute role

Dean Furman
Dean Furman

There was to be no glossing over the true feelings of Dean Furman when asked how it felt to be left on the bench.

Flying high at international level as skipper of Africa Cup of Nations bound South Africa, club football is proving much less of a happy hunting ground for the energetic midfielder.

After starting Rovers’ first seven games of the season, Furman has featured in just seven of the subsequent 18 matches.

And with the midfield four of Keegan, Wellens, Coppinger and Bennett recently helping to produce arguably Rovers’ best run of performances this season, the 26-year-old is struggling for a look-in.

“I can’t lie, it’s very frustrating to be sitting on the bench,” Furman told the Star. “If the team is doing well I can’t really complain if the gaffer doesn’t change the team.

“I have to understand the situation, keep training hard and be ready when I get the opportunity.”

Boss Paul Dickov revealed Furman would have started Tuesday’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy clash with Notts County, had he not been suffering with a groin issue.

Nevertheless, Furman recognises his current situation as being somewhat strange.

Earning rave reviews as skipper of his country yet unable to force his way into a League One side.

After securing Cup of Nations qualification with South Africa last month, Furman has made just two substitute appearances for Rovers, including against former club Oldham in the FA Cup last weekend.

He said: “It’s a difficult circumstance and I guess it’s a rare circumstance.

“It’s a massive honour for me to play for my country and we’ve done incredibly well in the way we’ve qualified for the AFCON.

“On the flip side, I sometimes touch down on Friday morning and we’ve got a game on Saturday morning so it’s unfair of me to expect to play.”

While left ruing his time on the bench, Furman admits competition for places in the Rovers squad over the past few weeks has given a boost to their league form.

He said: “We’ve got a strong bench and they’re keeping the boys who are in the side on their toes.

“The squad is healthy at the moment which is a great thing for us and it’s showing in the performances on the pitch.”

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