DONCASTER manager Paul Dickov delivered a withering assessment of his team’s showing and admitted Cherries had deserved their emphatic victory at Dean Court.

Dickov, who held a 30-minute post-match inquest with his players before addressing the media, said: “The performance was unacceptable, the players know that. We have just had them in the changing room for a lengthy time and a few home truths were said.

“As a group and over the course of the season, they have been fantastic for me but they know I won’t accept days like today. I would like to apologise to our fans because they travelled a long way and it was an inept performance.

“They started on the front foot and pegged us back. Rather than doing what we had worked on during the week, we sat back and invited a lot of pressure on ourselves. If you do that against good players, you are going to get punished and we did.

“The most disappointing aspect was that we felt we had a real chance here and, for whatever reason, it didn’t happen. In some games, you can afford two, three or maybe four players who are not completely at it. But when 10 have an off-day, you are going to get punished, especially in this division. We weren’t good enough and they were a hell of a lot better than us.

“We were all over the place defensively as a unit. Their front two are a handful, we knew that, but we didn’t deal with them enough. As well as being outplayed, we were outfought at times, which was uncharacteristic of us. It could have been a lot more if it hadn’t been for Sam (Johnstone, Rovers’ goalkeeper).”