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Paul Dickov praises Doncaster Rovers' Mark Duffy

29 January 2014

Billy Sharp made a hero's return as Doncaster Rovers beat Charlton Athletic 3-0 to boost their hopes of beating the drop, but Rovers manager Paul Dickov hailed Mark Duffy's contribution.

An Abdoulaye Meite goal and a Chris Brown penalty handed Rovers a 2-0 half-time lead, with Charlton reduced to 10 men following the sending-off of Lawrie Wilson who was shown a straight red for upending Sharp in the box.

Duffy then scored to seal the win and pick up the man of the match accolade.

"I thought he was top class," said Dickov. "He got his goal and that is what he is capable of.

"We need more of an product, I suppose, but if he plays like that then he's got a chance to score a few more."

Dickov was pleased with Sharp's performance adding: "I wanted to leave Billy on a little bit longer to try and help him get his goal, but we have to be careful. The big plus is getting the minutes out of him again. He'll be so much better for the 80 minutes he had under his belt here."

Meite opened the scoring after 25 minutes following a goalmouth scramble that saw fellow defender Bongani Khumalo seconds earlier denied by a post and some frantic defending. Brown then converted a penalty 10 minutes later, sending Ben Alnwick the wrong way.

Rovers finally put the Addicks put of their misery after 67 minutes, when man-of-the-match Duffy curled home a shot from just inside the box.

Dickov admitted that he was no totally satisfied with the win and had to gee his players up at the break.

"I thought for the first 30-35 minutes we were fantastic, but I had a go at them at half-time as I thought the last 10 minutes were really sloppy and we dropped our standards," said the Scot.

"We were showboating a little bit - we are at our best when we play two-touch and at a high tempo. Second half I thought we were better, but there were times when our all retention wasn't great. But it's another three points and a big three points."

The Rovers boss was also delighted to keep a clean sheet, adding: "That was massive - it doesn't take a rocket science, but if you keep a clean sheet then you're going to pick up at least a point and I thought defensively we were solid."

Charlton boss Chris Powell offered no excuses for his side's lacklustre performance and admitted Rovers were the best side on the night.

He said: "Doncaster were on it from the start and we didn't get going at all. When we went a goal down, then 2-0 down with a man sent off, it was going to be a long road for us.

"We have some tough games recently and although we huffed and puffed, we just never got ourselves going."

Powell had no problem with the penalty or sending off, saying: "I think most referees in that position would have given it. I don't think Lawrie got the ball and he had a decision to make and he made it."

On the speculation linking Dale Stephens with a move away from the club before Friday's transfer deadline, Powell said: "I don't know if the club has had any enquiries, but of course the club is vulnerable at this stage of the season. Dale's been exceptional this season and I would love him to be here, but if someone bids late on then it is out of my hands. Every player has his price."

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