Dickov is upset by amateur defending
DISGUSTED Doncaster manager Paul Dickov warned his players to stop thinking they are better than they are – or risk becoming involved in another relegation scrap.
Rovers were relegated from the Championship last season and, on this performance, look more likely to suffer back-toback demotions than to bounce back up.
They failed to trouble Walsall keeper Richard O’Donnell all afternoon and shipped three goals at the other end, forcing Dickov to apologise to the travelling Donny faithful.
The fuming boss said: “The goal we conceded in first-half injury time was just amateurish really, giving a stupid free-kick away and then people switching off yet again.
“It’s something that’s happened time and time again, we are working on it on the training ground, but the players have to be receptive to it on a consistent basis.
“Our performance in the second half on Tuesday night at Fulham was fantastic but maybe some of the players think we are a really good team overnight.
“It doesn’t work like that - if you don’t run harder, work harder, do the basics right, you are going to get beaten.Walsall did all of those better than us and that’s the most disappointing thing.
“I can make excuses but I can’t stick up for the second half performance today. Myself, the staff and players will be taking a good look at ourselves this week because it just wasn’t good enough.”
Walsall went ahead on the stroke of half-time with the lone moment of quality of a dire first half, Romaine Sawyers teeing up ex-Donny youngster James Baxendale to score.
The Saddlers improved after the break but Doncaster somehow got worse, Bradshaw sliding home a Sawyers cross from six yards before Anthony Forde’s free-kick flew in off the post.
While Rovers clearly missed injured striker Nathan Tyson, Saddlers boss Dean Smith was delighted to welcome back Bradshaw, who returned from a hamstring niggle to bag his fifth goal of the season.
Smith said: “It’s not been a great start points-wise for us but our performances have been ok in a lot of the games – what’s been missing is goals so Tom was a shooin to come straight back in. He could probably have added more than the one today. He’s a terrific player, he occupies two centre-backs – in fact, at times, he occupies the whole back four with his energetic running. I can’t speak highly enough of him. He’s a manager’s dream.
“It was a very good performance from the whole team. I thought we controlled the game, scored some good goals as well and the back four were superb too.”
STAR MAN ROMAI