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Club News


18 October 2012

Mark McGhee believes that the confidence seen on the training ground is now starting to manifest itself on the pitch.

The manager feels that Rovers should have turned draws into wins and taken three points from five of the last six games.

He said: “The confidence has been seen on the pitch now. There has never been any loss of confidence on the training ground, most importantly it has to manifest itself in the games, and I think it has.

“I think with the draws we have come away frustrated as the lads have known they have done better, and really we should have won these games, so we will just keep working towards that.

“Looking at the games since Gillingham we have won two, drawn three and lost one, I think that could easily be five wins and a draw, but it is not. I think we now have to go and prove that.

“I think as a squad we have improved, but as a team we have not improved quite as much as I would have liked to.

“That is partly to do with form and also partly down to the team I am able to select.

“There are different factors affecting the overall performance and therefore the results, but I think the underlying picture is that we are a stronger squad than we were when we drew 2-2 with Torquay last season.”

There was good news about Matt Gill, who will be missing for six weeks, rather than 12 that was at first feared.

Dave Clarkson will continue to fill in for him until Mark can bring someone else in.

The manager said: “It was kind of good news as there is nothing major going on there. It seems to refer to an old injury that has been disrupted, so it should settle down quicker than any damage to the cartilage would have done.

“It means we expect him back within a six week time frame instead of 12 weeks, so sooner rather than later, but still means he will miss a few games.

“I know Dave Clarkson enjoys playing in there, and I think he is capable of playing anywhere across that six across the front, and in the meantime he will go on doing that.

“I think we need someone with that little not more experience and aggression in there with Oli Norburn, rather than another footballer like Wayne Brown.

“We know that Wayne could play with Dave Clarkson, but we don’t think Wayne and Oli are the ideal pairing.

“Until we find someone else to go there, Clarkey will play there. 

“We have a wage cap that we have to adhere to, so it may mean we have to let someone go out, that is the reality of the situation we are in.”

Two other injury worries are Derek Riordan and Scott Bevan.

Mark said: “Derek is not great, he is not training yet, which means by the end of the week he will not have training for two weeks, which is a dangerous thing; we saw with Garry Kenneth trying to get him in the team and then having a set-back.

“We have to be patient, we want him out there but I don’t want to lose him for longer, we have to get him a bit fitter.

“Scott Bevan is still struggling. Very soon we are going to have to make a decision that he is going to have to accept that it is never going to be 100% and he will have to get back out and do what he was doing last season, playing with strapping.

“Or he is going to face up to yet another operation, in which case he future would be uncertain – we are very concerned about his situation.

“If he had another operation, there is no certainty he would play again.”

The manager is confident there are goals in the side, and he expects the players to step up and start hitting the target.

Mark said: “I am confident there are goals in the side. We got three against Northampton, and in other games we have had opportunities to score – we just have to convert them. 

“We brought Derek Riordan in to help us in that respect and is out of the team at the moment, so we are aware we need to improve on that.

“We have to keep working and the others have to take responsibility and start hitting the target more often.”

And Rovers will face up against two players who were at the club at the end of last season – Michael Poke and Aaron Downes.

Mark said: “Two of the best pros you will ever work with. Pokey really was unlucky because we had to make a decision on goalies and we thought we had Scott Bevan and he would be enough.

“As it turns out Scott has been injured the entire season, and if we had known that we would have taken Pokey. That shows how much we rate him, both as an individual and as a player.

“Aaron Downes is a consummate professional. I felt we needed younger legs and build for a longer term future in that position, so again he is a player under other circumstances we would have loved to have at the club.

“He is a difficult opponent and a great character.”

For the full interview visit Gas Player

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