BUCKY’S BLOG: Home comforts need to return

John Buckley believes James Coppinger needs a more central role in Dickov's line-up. Photo: Dean Atkins
John Buckley believes James Coppinger needs a more central role in Dickov's line-up. Photo: Dean Atkins

The result against Oldham was a worrying one.

I can imagine Paul Dickov and his players will have preferred to have played a game soon afterwards so they could put things right.

But this fortnight’s break will mean that the team have to mull over their performance against Oldham Athletic on Saturday - and it wasn’t one to remember.

That result now means that Dickov’s men have yet to record a victory on home soil in three opportunities in League One.

Port Vale came to the Keepmoat Stadium and showed how to counter-attack with effect, coming away with a 3-1 victory.

We then drew with Preston and the defeat against the Latics most recently sent out worrying vibes from the camp in terms of their home form.

How is it that Rovers’ away form outshadows their home performances this season, when it was the complete opposite last season?

From my experience, when you line up at home, there’s an added amount of pressure on you as the hosts to start off with a bang and set a high tempo.

You don’t necessarily get that on your travels.

As an away team, you’re more likely to soak up pressure and hit your opponents on the break.

Port Vale were a great example of hitting on the break against Rovers.

It might not have been pretty football all of the time but they were effective and got the job done.

Working under Billy Bremner during my time with Rovers, he always used to say to us that no matter what - you have to score one more than the opposition.

It sounds obvious but what he was getting at was that the football you play doesn’t always have to be trend-setting, sometimes you have to just dig in and get the job done.

I’m not saying Rovers should change their style of play but they’ve got to expect that life in League One isn’t always going to be pretty.

They’ve got players in their squad who have the experience of playing in this league and they need those players right now to bring the others through.

The likes of James Coppinger and Richie Wellens - these are players you need in your team and thankfully Dickov has that following the completion of Richie’s contract deal.

For me, I’d have Coppinger playing in a more central role.

I’d give him the opportunity to roam and play in that free role behind the striker or strikers so that he can act as another attacking force.

It’s an interesting dilemma that Dickov is in at the moment because he’s got to look back at the Oldham performance and wonder where the changes can be made because he needs a reaction when they’re next in action against Bristol City.

A couple of good results will do Rovers no end of good.

They just need to tap into some consistency.