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Match Previews

2015/16 preview - introducing Doncaster Rovers FC

4 June 2015

Meet Millwall's League One opponents

DONCASTER ROVERS

Founded: 1879

Stadium: Keepmoat Stadium

Nickname: Donny, The Vikings

Position: 13th in League One

Manager: Paul Dickov began his playing career with Arsenal and was part of the side that won the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1994.

The diminutive striker went on to play for a number of clubs, most notably Manchester City and Blackburn Rovers at Premier League level.

Throughout his career, he was involved in four promotion winning campaigns and also earned 10 caps at full international level for Scotland.

Dickov entered his first managerial position with Oldham Athletic following a distinguished playing career, joining in June 2010 when he agreed a one-year rolling contract as player-manager. He hung up his playing boots at the end of his first season to concentrate solely on management.

Having guided Oldham to a 16th place finish the following year, Dickov stepped down as manager in February 2013 following a poor run of results. His time out of the game was short-lived, however, and when the opportunity of returning to management came in May 2013 with Doncaster, Dickov didn't hesitate to take up the challenge.

His first season at the Keepmoat proved disappointing as Donny returned to League One after just one year in the Championship, and Dickov undertook a major squad rebuilding during the 2014/15 campaign, guiding Reds to a 13th place finish.

Key Player: One of the biggest surprises is not that James Coppinger is still producing superb performances for Donny as he approaches his 11th season with the club, but that he has spent much of his career in the lower leagues.

Coppinger is arguably one of the most talented midfielders outside of the Premiership, and is one of just four players to reach the magic '400' appearance mark for Donny.

Having started out as a trainee at Darlington in 1998 he moved to Newcastle but failed to make an impression in his four years, making just one appearance as a sub for the Toon.

He moved to Exeter City in 2002 and made 82 appearances before Dave Penney bought the midfielder to Rovers in 2004. He has proved invaluable to the team since with his vision creating goals and thunderous shot helping him hit 47 goals for Donny thus far.

Top scorer: Nathan Tyson (14 goals)

Head-to-head: Matches between Donny and The Lions are thinly spread, with only 27 past encounters on record.

Of those, Millwall just edge the wins ratio with 11 to Doncaster's eight, whilst eight matches have finished all-square.

Rovers have failed to score in four of the last five matches between the two sides, although both games in the 2013/14 campaign finished goal-less including a 0-0 draw at the Keepmoat Stadium when Neil Harris and Scott Fitzgerald were in temporary charge of The Lions following the dismissal of Steve Lomas as manager.

Last time we met: Millwall and Doncaster were both in relegation trouble when the the two sides locked horns on Bank Holiday Monday 21st April 2014 - and Donny looked deeper in the mire when Abdoulaye Meite was sent off after 43 minutes of a 0-0 draw at The Den.

Ivorian Meite was dismissed moments before half-time after diving into a high, mistimed tackle on Stefan Maierhofer, leaving referee Fred Graham no choice but to show a red card.

Millwall tried to make their numerical advantage count after the break and laid siege to the Doncaster box with Shaun Williams' long-range effort brilliantly saved by the keeper, who then tipped a thunderous Steve Morison volley over the bar before the striker headed a deep corner against the frame of the goal.

A last-ditch challenge from Rovers' impressive Paul Quinn prevented Lions sub Simeon Jackson tapping into an open net 10 minutes from time.

Millwall: Forde, Dunne, Beevers, Malone, Bailey, Woolford (Morison, 46mins), Martin, Williams, Edwards, McDonald (Jackson, 67mins), Maierhofer (Easter, 67mins). Subs not used: Bywater, Robinson, Fredericks, Abdou.

Doncaster Rovers: Johnstone, Quinn, Tamas, Meite (s/o), Stevens, Furman, Cotterill, Keegan, Coppinger, Brown, Robinson (McCombe, 89mins). Subs not used: Maxted, McCullough, Duffy, De Val Fernandez, Middleton, Sharp.

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