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Club News


1 February 2013

Manager on tonight's victory

John Ward described himself as a “happy man” after seeing his side pick up their third win in a row against Barnet at the Memorial Stadium this evening.


Rovers left it late, but sealed victory in injury time when Ryan Brunt scored to make it 2-1 to the home side.

The manager believes that both sides played their part in putting on a great game of football.

He said: “I am a really happy man because the team have worked extremely hard, and I think there were two very good teams out there who have belied their position in the bottom six of League Two without a shadow of a doubt.

“There were two very good sides, who put on a fantastic game of football for a big crowd.

“We have got a group of people who have kept going, and they have won three games in three different ways.

“We have had to be exceptionally patient tonight against a good team, and I am delighted for the boys that they have got the reward for it.”

And the manager was impressed with both of his side’s goals.

He said: “All goals are pretty good, especially when your team gets them, but you have got to have a little bit of calmness in front of goal at key times, and both my scorers did that. Both finishers have done that with aplomb.

“It was a super finish from Fabian, and he had to be calm and make quick decisions.

“When I signed Ryan I described him as an old fashioned centre forward, and I think you have now seen why I said that. I am delighted for him as he is 19 and I think he has a fantastic career in front of him. “

And now that the team are out of the bottom two, the manager and his players have to make sure they stay there.

John said: “What we have got to do is stay there. I have got the players in tomorrow for a cool down and an injury count, to get feedback.

“We go to Cheltenham on Tuesday night, and they are looking for automatic promotion, and then we go to Oxford, so we have to make sure we keep the mood that we have got and the ability we have got.”

And the manager says that strengthening the defence has been key to Rovers’ recent good performances.

He said: “I looked at it when I came and the goal difference was minus 22 and I said we have to tighten up the base, you cannot have a goal difference that bad.

“We have worked hard at our defending, and I think because of that the front players have blossomed. We have created chances because there is a trust.

“They have worked hard together and taken on what we have tried to do with them and they now have their rewards in terms of winning games.”

John admits that he didn’t think he would manage again, but couldn’t turn down a chance to help Rovers out.

He said: “When I left my last club I was going to pack all this in, but it is such a fantastic feeling when as a manager in a key game with a big crowd you are able to find a winner.

“We should enjoy it as that is what we are trying to work for and we have had three victories on the trot which have all been different.

“There aren’t many clubs I would have done this for. I was here before and had a terrific time and I got asked if I would come and help, and my dear friend Ron Craig would never have forgiven me if I hadn’t done it.”

For the full interview, visit Gas Player.

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