DONCASTER Rovers manager Paul Dickov believes his Blackburn Rovers counterpart Gary Bowyer is not getting the credit he deserves for the job he is doing at Ewood Park.
Former Rovers striker Dickov returns to East Lancashire with his struggling Donny side tomorrow and he has been seriously impressed by the way Bowyer has transformed a team that last season only just survived relegation to one that is now within two points off the play-off places.
Dickov said: “Gary’s done a great job and given them a bit of stability. They’ve moved forward.
“You’ve just got to look at how the players play for Gary compared to the way they did for the previous regime.
“He’s got everyone on side. He’s a top footballing guy, he wants to play in the right way and I don’t think he gets the credit he deserves.”
Dickov had two years at Rovers, scoring 17 goals in 65 appearances between 2004 and 2006.
The former Scotland striker said: “I had two fantastic years there, not just with the football staff but the fans and the people behind the scenes.
“I’m just really pleased they’re back on track after the turmoil they’ve had over the last couple of years.”
But Dickov will not let sentiment get in the way tomorrow.
“Ewood is a place that is very close to me but I want to go there and win,” he added.
“We have to win, we need to get out of the bottom three and we want to do that on Saturday.”
Dickov plans to ring the changes tomorrow and his line-up could include two new signings, former West Brom defender Abdoulaye Meite and former Blackpool and Leicester City midfielder Richie Wellens.
Dickov will be looking to complete a league double over Rovers after winning August’s reverse fixture at the Keepmoat Stadium 2-0.
He said: “Blackburn are a good team with a lot of good players but they’re also a team that we’ve beaten and we want to go there and do that again.
“I think the key to the game earlier in the season was that we looked defensively sound.”
Meanwhile, Rovers boss Bowyer, who managed Dickov while in charge of the reserves at Ewood, feels Doncaster are better than their lowly placing suggests.
He said: “They went to QPR the other week and for 45 minutes were outstanding and should have been out of sight in my opinion.
“People expected us to go there at the beginning of the season and win easily. It didn’t happen and that’s the Championship.
“Before that game we said to the players we knew all about Paul Dickov and how he was as a player and how he would want his team to play.
“They play good football and have got some good technicians and it will be a difficult game for us.
“The expectation is a dangerous thing.
“People will wrongly be expecting us, now we have drawn with Manchester City, to go unbeaten until the end of the season.
“It just doesn’t work like that at all – and that’s the message we’ve given to the players, taking each game as it comes and focusing it heavily on Doncaster.”
Of Dickov, Bowyer added: “I took a reserve game once when I was the youth team manager here and Paul played in it.
“He was a top pro and was a great example for the young lads that night.”