Doncaster Rovers: Faith in youth policy will continue insists Dickov

Liam Wakefield has started Rovers' last three matches.
Liam Wakefield has started Rovers' last three matches.

Paul Dickov had no hesitation about throwing teen duo Liam Wakefield and Alex Peterson into the first team mix – and insists he will have no qualms about doing it again.

The Doncaster born pair were handed surprise first starts for Rovers over the festive period.

With the defensive ranks depleted by the injury crisis, Wakefield started against both Ipswich and Millwall.

And Peterson was deployed as a lone striker against the Lions after Federico Macheda and Theo Robinson were dropped.

Dickov insists he will continue to give youth a chance if players show the right desire.

“I’ve shown in the last three years as a manager that if I’ve got young kids who are willing to work hard and show enthusiasm, I’ll play them,” Dickov said. “I did that with putting Liam in and Alex deserved his chance.

“We hadn’t been scoring and I’d much rather, if I get the opportunity, put one of our own in there.

“I’ve shown that I don’t care who you are, where you’re from or how old you are, that if I feel as though you aren’t pulling your weight or you’re going through a lack of form that I’ve no problem putting kids in.

“We knew we’d have energy from him and a bit of workrate.

“We felt Alex’s enthusiasm would rub off not just on the players but on the crowd also.

“He’s is a Doncaster lad and he’s been brought up through the system.

“For the club and the fans there’s nothing better than seeing on of your own out there running around, having a go and causing problems.”

Dickov revealed his initial plan was to send young players like Peterson and Wakefield out on loan to League One and Two clubs to gain experience only for the injury crisis to take hold.

The Rovers boss’ first business in the transfer window will be attempts to extend the loans of Federico Macheda, Enda Stevens and Yun Suk Young.

He confirmed Manchester United will assess Macheda back at Old Trafford before deciding his next move.