Doncaster Rovers: Duffy ‘made to change’ for his starting place

Mark Duffy impressed on his start against Leicester.

Mark Duffy impressed on his start against Leicester.

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Mark Duffy’s chance in the Rovers starting line up has come after plenty of changes to the winger’s game according to Paul Dickov.

The lid has been lifted on Duffy’s early days with the club, revealing that the former Scunthorpe man has been forced to change his approach in order to fit with Dickov’s style of play.

“Mark is a player who likes to get on the ball all the time and take a lot of touches,” Dickov said.

“Previously, he’s been allowed to do that in any are of the pitch but we want him to just do that in the last third.

“We want every player to express themselves, but do that by keeping the ball and playing one, two, three touch football.

“Mark’s had a tendancy to take too many touches in the middle of the park.

“You can’t do that in the Championship because you will lose the ball.

“Mark wants something to happen every time he has the ball.

“But sometimes for that to occur you’ve got to keep the ball for five or six passes before you can really do that.

“You can’t do that every time you get the ball but Mark slowly but surely is coming round to realising that.

“We’ve drummed it into all our wide players that if you do what we ask then as far as I’m concerned you can shove the ball up your backside in the final third as long as you’re trying to be positive.

“I don’t really care if it doesn’t happen for them in the final third.

“But when you’re in the middle third, ball retention is massive for how we want to play.

“When you do lose the ball you’ve got to work hard as well and it’s taken Mark a little while to come to grips with that.”

The 28-year-old was rewarded for his hard work with a starting place against Leicester City.

And he impressed in both attack and defence, earning the sponsors’ man of the match with his performance.

Dickov said: “I was delighted for him because he’s waited patiently, he’s got his head down and worked hard.

“We sat down and spoke to Mark about why he wasn’t in the team and what he needed to do to get in the team.

“He’s reacted fantastically well.

“I know a lot of people were surprised with his inclusion in the last game but he came in and showed everyone why we signed him.

“He knows he’s got to keep up that same level of performance to stay in the team.”

Duffy may be handed another chance to impress at Reading this weekend with Dickov keen to stick with the same bold approach, despite the loss of Federico Macheda to injury.