It may seem like a strange thing to say after an error-strewn defeat for his side, but Paul Dickov insists he was delighted with Rovers’ loss to Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Rovers had greatly impressed for much of the summer after an unbeaten run against Nottingham Forest, Middlesbrough and Sunderland with confidence high among players and supporters alike.
After the 4-3 defeat to Wolves, which saw a number of defensive mistakes, Dickov was pleased with what he termed ‘a wake-up call’ for everyone associated with the club.
“Believe it or not, I’m delighted because it was a bit of a wake-up call for us,” Dickov said. “A few were getting carried away.
“The defending, especially for pre-season, is a bit uncharacteristic for us.
“It’s good for me because it gives me plenty to work on for this week.
“I’ve said after every friendly I was looking for progression with each game. The progression after this one is that we have to be at our best all the time, especially against top teams.
“But as pre-seasons go, I’m happy with where we are at the moment.”
Andy Williams, Richard Chaplow, Mitchell Lund and Nathan Tyson all received game time after missing previous friendlies with injury.
Curtis Main and Gary MacKenzie both sat out Saturday’s match but Dickov expects both to be fit for the start of the season.
He said: “Gary has had a little tweak in his hip flexor and Curtis will probably train on Monday.
“The biggest bonus from pre-season is that we will more than likely go into next Saturday with a fully fit squad. We’re looking strong on that front at the minute.
“Dany N’Guessan needs to get some match fitness and proper training fitness into him. But he’s showed little glimpses in training and in the game of what he’s all about.”