Dickov’s given up on the play-offs
PAUL Dickov admits Doncaster’s play-off hopes are all but over after their stalemate with Rochdale.
The result did little to aid either side's hopes of qualifying for the top six with a dearth of goalscoring chances in a game that had an end-of-season feel to it.
Kyle Bennett opened the scoring for Rovers in the first half before Ian Henderson levelled up just before the hour to seal a point for the visitors.
The result leaves Rovers ten points adrift of Chesterfield and Dickov admits he is already looking towards next season.
“When we broke we didn't use our width and we paid for it,” said Dickov.
“It's going to be difficult for us to get into the play-offs, especially more so after today's game.
“The only saving grace is that we managed to get a point out of it.
“Usually, when we don't play well we don't pick up anything.
“In the second half I didn't think we played particularly well.
“But, we have to give Rochdale credit because they're a good team and they cause lots of problems.
“Without being too harsh, we know where we need to strengthen next year. We're identifying people and looking at the ones we want to keep and we've still got five games to go.”
Reece Wabara created Doncaster's 17th-minute opener when he flashed a ball across the area which evaded everyone apart from Bennett, who picked out the bottom-right corner to give Rovers a lead which they took into the break.
If either side looked like opening the scoring in the second half it was the hosts but they were caught with a suckerpunch just before the hour when Henderson prodded home.
The visitors came closest to grabbing victory but Peter Vincenti spurned a hat-trick of late chances as spoils were shared.
Dale boss Keith Hill was unhappy with the decision by referee Gavin Ward not to award an early penalty to his side.
Joe Rafferty went down inside the first minute but Ward waved away his appeal, to the dismay of Hill.
“It was a stonewall penalty on Joe Rafferty, ”he said.
“Referees don't help themselves when they crouch down and try and suggest to the fans and players that they can't see anything.
“That means that they're in a bad position. We’ve seen it again but it’s part of football and we responded well.
“We played well and probably deserved a bit more. We rallied well in the second half, dominated possession and enforced our style on the opposition.”