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Club News


28 December 2012

Defender on tomorrow's game at Cheltenham

While most of us were disappointed at the postponement of the Rotherham game last Saturday, there was one player, Michael Smith, who was quite pleased!

“I was taken ill the day before the game and wasn’t fit to play, so I was quite happy when it was called off!”

The postponement enabled John Ward to spend more time with his players on the training ground, before selecting the first side of his second stint as Rovers manager, for Wednesday’s game at Aldershot.

“Those two extra days with the new gaffer was brilliant; he did a lot more work on the training ground with us, and I think it paid dividends on Wednesday.

“Mind you, the conditions were horrible and there was some doubt, beforehand, as to whether or not the game went ahead.

“However I thought we played the conditions well and came away with a good point in the end.”

There was certainly a determination amongst the side as they twice hit back from being a goal down to earn themselves a valuable point.

“Before the game the new gaffer told us we had to go out with the right attitude and give it 100% and that if we did that in every game then we will get out of this situation. Everyone did that at Aldershot. As I said, it was a good point and, hopefully, we can kick on this weekend.”

In spite of the point, the side fell further behind the pack as Barnet pulled off a surprise win at Gillingham.

“We couldn’t believe it when we heard that result. It was a good win for them, though, and winning gams is what we need to start doing now.”

Hopefully that process will start tomorrow, at Cheltenham, though it won’t be easy against a side that lies in third place in the League Two table. However Rovers will be backed by 1,419 Gasheads, which should generate a good atmosphere at Whaddon Road.

“Our fans played their part on Wednesday at Aldershot, and it’s great that so many of them are travelling up to Cheltenham. We know they will be loud and that they will really get behind us, so we will try to put on a show for them and do everything we can to win.”

When a new manager joins a club it usually has a positive effect on the players, though no one seems able to explain why that should be the case.

“Players do seem to give a little bit extra when there is a change of manager, but in all honesty I don’t know why that should be the case.

“At the end of the day it’s all down to the players, and when we walk out on to the pitch it’s up to us, and we have to get ourselves out of this mess.”

The games are coming thick and fast, as we host Plymouth Argyle on New Year’s Day and Gillingham on Saturday.

“It is hectic, but playing football is what we do and we look forward to playing over the festive period. Of course, we are aware of the need to warm down and to relax between games so that we are totally prepared, and we hope to start things off in the right way by taking three points tomorrow.”

With Garry Kenneth suspended and unavailable tomorrow, John Ward could well be fielding a young back line at Whaddon Road.

“I’m not sure what the side is tomorrow, but there’s a chance that I could be the oldest player at the back!

“It doesn’t matter who plays, though, as we will be totally focused on the game. We don’t look ahead and set ourselves a points target, as the only target we have is to get out of the 
relegation zone.”

There is another interview, featuring Seanan Clucas, now available on Gas Player

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