Doncaster Rovers' Paul Dickov is Dougie Freedman's manager of the season
WANDERERS boss Dougie Freedman believes fellow Scot Paul Dickov should be in the running for Championship manager of the year if Doncaster stay in the Championship.
Freedman takes his Whites team to face Rovers tonight for a first league visit in more than a quarter of a century and they go into the game as favourites to win after a run of just one defeat in their last 10 matches.
But, despite home defeat to Birmingham on Saturday, the Wanderers manager is not expecting an easy ride against Dickov’s team.
And he is full of praise for the job the former Manchester City striker has done at the Keepmoat Stadium following promotion from League One last season.
“But I will go on record and say if I was to vote I would vote for someone like Paul Dickov who has done a tremendous job at Doncaster.
“He has had to deal with a lot of loans and works within a low budget and has got them playing in a system that works for them.
“I watched their game against Birmingham on Saturday and that is a small hiccup because they could have won.
“He is a young manager who has done as good a job as anybody keeping Doncaster in with a chance of staying in this division.
“I don’t take this game lightly.
“Just because we are playing well does not mean we can just go there and think we will be fine.
“They have a team that are organised and the spirit was there from going up last year.
“There is experience in there from the likes of (Ritchie) Wellens and (Chris) Brown and Paul has added to that with players like Lucas Neill.
“It’s a game with one team in good form and the other on the rebound from a home defeat.
“It will boil down to who performs on the night.”
Dickov was naturally disappointed with Saturday’s 3-1 loss, but it was a first home defeat since Boxing Day.
And he believes the visit of one of the division’s big clubs in Wanderers can bring out the best in his team.
The Rovers boss said: “We go in to the game with a lot of positivity because we have been playing well recently.
“We know it’s going to be a tough game, Dougie (Freedman) is someone I’ve known for a long time and he’s got lots of good players at Bolton.
“But we’ve risen to the occasion when the bigger teams have played us, especially at home.”