Written by Nathan Bees
The reaction of Gasheads after last Saturday’s disappointing 1-0 defeat at home to Dagenham & Redbridge says everything. A combination of anger, frustration and sadness flooded out the Memorial gates as Rovers fell to 23rd place in the League Two table.
The post-mortem has lasted for much of this week and whilst we can analyse our shortcomings until the cows come home, it’s time we move on and look ahead to tomorrow’s clash with York City.
It’s a chance for the players to make amends and register 3 crucial points as we head in to the busy Christmas period. As we’ve found out already this season there are no easy games in this division, but the Minstermen aren’t in the best of form themselves and that has to offer us hope.
They’ve been far from solid at home and you’d expect their supporters to get on the backs of their players if we can frustrate them early on. This would certainly play in to our hands. We’ve seen almost every team do exactly that to us at the Mem and it’s effective - it’s high time we start doing the same thing.
We’ve been saying it all season but if we can be solid at the back then we’ve always got a chance with the number of chances we create. We’ve not been lethal, not by any stretch, but we do create goalscoring opportunities and all it takes is for us to put a couple of them away and things start to look a little better.
Football is a simple game that is often over complicated unnecessarily. You don’t need to set out complex tactics in an attempt to win matches - more traditional formations are just as fruitful if players are played to their strengths.
Hopefully with the return of a few key players we can start to see a more balanced side that is strong in defence and more clinical going forward.
It would be naive to think that we will suddenly begin to look like a free-flowing team because it is clear for all to see that we need to strengthen considerably in January, but there’s no reason why the current squad can’t do much better than they are right now.
Mark McGhee says there will be ‘several’ pieces of recruitment next month and that will be accompanied by a few departures too, with the first confirmed yesterday morning. Longest-serving first teamer Wayne Brown has turned down a new deal in order to complete a move to Finland and his former club TPS Turku.
The move is probably best for both Wayne and Rovers and I’m sure that I’m not the only one who would like to wish him the best of luck in the future. He will remain with the club until the expiry of his contract in the new year which will then signal the start of a very busy January.
We’ve all rightly had our say over the performances we’ve witnessed these past few months but now it’s the time for us to get back to what we do best - supporting the team. There’s not been much to cheer or get excited about and unfortunately the attitude of many modern day football fans in this situation is that the team therefore do not deserve any encouragement.
Gasheads were never like this and I hope we don’t conform to this way of thinking now. Let’s continue to get behind the boys and play our part in trying to win 3 points - we need them!
An away victory will set us up nicely for a difficult looking game with Rotherham United at the Mem in a week’s time, where there are reduced prices right around the ground.
In a further bid to increase the number of supporters cheering the boys on before Christmas, season ticket holders are also able to bring along a friend for free. It’s a great offer and hopefully you’ll all take advantage of it!
C’mon Rovers, we can do it. Up the Gas!