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FAN BLOG

22 February 2013

By Nathan Bees

‘Bouncebackability’ is key for the players as they look to recover from Tuesday’s narrow 2-1 defeat to promotion-chasing Rotherham United when they take on Morecambe this weekend.

The word was famously campaigned by Soccer AM to make it in to the English Dictionary and was first coined by former Crystal Palace boss Iain Dowie following a return to form for his side in 2005.

In my eyes it is exactly what John Ward will be looking for from his squad on Saturday and I can see no reason why that shouldn’t be a reality.

Our response to a defeat was always going to be the real test of how far we’ve come in the last 8 weeks. Whilst the superb run of form was an indication of improvement, we’ve not experienced a disappointing result for a while.

However, the last time we did against Gillingham in early January saw Rovers put in arguably one of their best performances of the season with a 3-0 win away at Fleetwood.

A similar scoreline this weekend would not only see us take home 3 points but will prove to everybody that there is a resilience about this group of players that will stand us in good stead for the rest of the season. 

Although the defeat to Rotherham was bitterly disappointing, it was great to see that the new-found togetherness between supporters and players was still strong.

It wasn’t our best performance but we still matched a side who have had lots of investment in recent months for the majority of the game. Regardless of the scoreline there was passion, determination and effort from every player who donned the blue and white quarters and that translated to the 8600-strong crowd.

We all hope to see free-flowing passing football but all Gasheads have ever wanted from their team was 100% commitment in every match and that’s what we’re getting now.

As long as the players wearing the shirts are playing with the enthusiasm and pride that we’d show in their place then we can ask for no more.

Whilst that remains the case Bristol Rovers will be united and prove a formidable opponent for any team we come up against.

That’s not just a biased opinion. Managers of sides who have succumbed to defeat against us in recent matches have taken the time to comment on the potential of this football club and Steve Evans was no different on Tuesday night.

Sure, it’s easy to exaggerate the challenge you’ve just had to overcome on the pitch when you’ve won a game of football, and he’s done that often enough, but his opinion is shared by many managers in our division.

He described our run of form as ‘unbelievable’ and went on to say: “It is an outstanding football club that, like Rotherham, should be competing to be in the Championship and not in
League Two.” 

We are finally equipping ourselves with the armoury required to try and make that a reality - a passionate manager, a squad of battlers and a new stadium on the horizon that holds the key to unlocking our potential - just like they have and that has to be our focus moving forward.

There is still plenty of work to be done this season to ensure that we aren’t dragged back in to trouble, I don’t think anyone is fooling themselves in to thinking otherwise, but we can look to the future with a lot of optimism if we stick together and continue to work as hard as we have done so far in 2013.

Our support in the last few home games has been superb and has far surpassed the attendances of other matches in our division, the one above and even a couple in the Championship, which not only helps our team but intimidates the opposition.

Keep up the good work Gasheads, it makes a huge difference. We face an away double-header against Morecambe and Northampton in the next week so the message to those travelling to support the boys: Cheer us back to winning ways!

Up the Gas!

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