John on the Boxing Day fixture
John Ward confirmed at the training ground this morning that Derek Riordan has already gone back to Scotland, and Bolton will not be extending the loan of Tom Eaves.
The manager knows that he is going to be very busy in January bringing new players in, but he is also aware that he has three games coming up before he can add any new faces.
He said: “Derek Riordan has gone back to Scotland. His loan would have finished on the 27th anyway, but it was pretty clear that he wasn’t going to pull for the team so I said to him to go back.
“Tom Eaves we have for two more games but Bolton are going to ask him to go back up, which is their prerogative, but we have got him for those two matches.
“Tom wants to play and wants to be here, so I have no worry about putting him in for those two games.
“January is going to be very busy, we were already getting some preparation for that and we will be working very hard to try and improve this squad.
“We have got work to do. We have got to try and get ourselves out of this position, when the end of April comes we have got to be in League Two simple as that.
“The game will run out pretty quick, and we have three more games before I can bring any new faces in anyway.”
Following Saturday’s postponed game against Rotherham, the manager has had a few more days with his players and a few people have had the chance to improve their fitness.
But John is keen to see his players in action and find out more about them.
“Michael Smith would have missed the game as he was ill, but he came back in on Sunday and trained well and he is fit and available for selection.
“Cian Bolger will get another three days under his belt and improve his fitness and Tom Parkes as well who was out last week. We have to take those positives in to the game and use them.
“I have been pleased with the players, but the games tell bigger stories. I can take sessions and say this is what I want you to do, but when they go on the pitch they have to make their own decisions, and that will tell me more about these players than anything in training.”
And the manager knows how important the Boxing Day fixture is for Rovers.
He said: “Three points for us would obviously draw us closer to everybody above us, and that is the key.
“We have that chance, we are not cast adrift, we are in a position where we can catch people and every point we gain is going to be vital to that survival period.”
For the full interview visit Gas Player