Doncaster Rovers: Keegan’s praise for Dickov after “messy” pre-season

Paul Keegan
Paul Keegan

Paul Keegan has praised the job done by manager Paul Dickov in the aftermath of a “messy” pre-season.

The Irish midfielder says everyone at Rovers is looking forwards rather than back, following a second consecutive summer complicated by takeover politics.

But when quizzed about the effect of another awkward summer, Keegan was keen to commend the job done by Dickov in difficult circumstances.

“With everything that went on over the summer. and the takeover, the manager’s had a very hard job to do,” said the 30-year-old, who eventually signed a new three-year deal in late August.

“A lot of players like Copps and Richie [Wellens] were hanging on and we didn’t really know who was coming or going.

“Eventually we got a team together and obviously there was a lot of relief that people had signed contracts. But it was so late in the day as well. All of a sudden there was a basis of a team there but there was still work to be done to get us playing together.

“So it’s been a very difficult job for the manager and I think he’s done great with how he’s managed to get people in.

“Obviously since then we’ve had to get everyone singing from the same hymn sheet. Other teams went through pre-season with six or seven weeks of playing together.

“We had pre-season with a completely different team, and there were games which lads couldn’t play in because they didn’t know if there’d be a contract for them.

“It was a bit messy but you’ve got to park that now,” he added.

“I don’t think anyone is looking back at that. We’ve got to move on and start winning games.

“Everything that has happened is in the past now. We’ve got to look forward now.”

Keegan also admits that Rovers’ slow start to life back in League One may have been partly down to a culture shock of sorts.

He said: “You’ve got to take into account the fact we’ve dropped down a league.

“There’s a different style of football in this league.

“A lot of teams will come out and try and beat you up a little bit.

“We have to be nice and organised at the start of the game and then look to play our football from there.”

n Rovers have appointed Ryan Murrant as their new marketing and communications manager.

Murrant has previously worked at Aldershot, Crawley Town and Southend United.