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Club News


23 August 2012

Manager looking to build on Tuesday night's improvement

Mark McGhee says he was happy with the improvements Rovers showed in the second half of their game against Barnet in midweek, but he feels his side still have a long way to go to get to where they want to be.

The manager believes it was important to get a point on the board going into Saturday’s visit to Wycombe Wanderers.

However his side are yet to win a game and he knows further improvement is necessary.

He told ”Not getting beaten was important, to start the season with two defeats would have been really disappointing, considering how much they have put into the pre season and the two games. A point is a start, but we now have a difficult game away from home.

“We didn’t win the game, we scored one goal from a set piece, so I think we have a long way to go before we can say we are happy. I think there was certainly a bit of progress in the second half, which was encouraging, so hopefully we can build on that.

“But I think we are a long way from what we hope we can become. We have to make sure that whatever we are doing in front of the ball, we must make sure we are secure behind it and not leaving ourselves exposed to counter attacks. 

And the manager is expecting another tough test against Wycombe, who will be hoping to bounce back from relegation last season.

He said: “All I expect is a difficult test. We will look at the reports and will hope to see a DVD of them before the game, but we know that we cannot expect to beat anyone, we have to go there and earn that right, and to win the game we are going to have to play well.

“If we go there expecting that we are going to have to play better than we have played so far, then we wont be surprised. Any team in this division is capable of beating any other team.”

Rovers lost Garry Kenneth on Tuesday night, and he is expected to be out for up to six weeks with a calf injury.

And the manager has not ruled out bringing anyone in, but will not be rushing into the transfer market.

He said: “Losing Garry Kenneth was a major, major blow for us, it was his calf and it is probably going to be another month, probably longer. But we are going to be working very, very hard with Garry to make sure when he comes out again he is fitter than he would have been at this stage.

“We can only go so far; there is a finite amount of money and that means there can only be a finite amount of players and we may have reached that already. We have to be careful, and we have to give other people an opportunity.”
There is a new face on the training ground this week, goalkeeping coach Bernd Dreher who is spending two weeks with the club.

Mark also confirmed that Dave Bessant has joined Rovers on a part time basis.

He said: “Bernd Dreher is a goalkeeping coach who isn’t working at the moment and has simply come over here for two weeks to do a bit of a clinic with our goalkeepers. He is highly rated and his bringing his experience and a fresh outlook.

“We have brought in Dave Beasant and he is working really well with the boys, but even Dave will look at Bernd and see some new ideas. He has worked with the top people and we can all learn from him.

“Dave will be coming in a couple of days a week, usually the day before a game, but we are delighted to have him.”

On the subject of expectations, Mark believes that as a club Rovers should be challenging at the top of the league, but the side still need to bounce back from last season.

He said: “Bristol Rovers, as a club, considering our support and our fanbase, should be a club in contention at the top end of the second division in any season.

“But last season we finished in the bottom half of the league, and at one point it was feared we might be relegated.

“We are having to come back from that, we think we are on the way back, but how much progress we have made, we are yet to see.

“I have never had in my mind that we would be runaway winners of the second division, I hope we will be in contention, and in the top ten at Christmas, but that is as far as I have allowed my hopes to stretch.”

For the full interview, visit Gas Player.

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