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Club News


7 February 2013

Manager on Saturday's trip to Oxford

John Ward will again be looking to continue the momentum as his side head to the Kassam Stadium to face Oxford this weekend.

A point against Cheltenham in midweek, secured thanks to a last second screamer from Oli Norburn, saw Rovers’ positive run of form continue.

But the manager has again warned against complacency as there is still a long way to go.

He said: “It is about working hard and concentrating on what happens next, you only look back for information.

“It has been great and we have had two late goals, which has been exciting, but if we go to Oxford and get sloppy and don’t work as hard then what is the point.

“That will be the message to the team and the supporters, as it is a ‘together’ thing, we have worked hard together and enjoyed those moment together, and want a few more of those.

“We cannot sit back, we need to go to Oxford and put in another performance, both on and off the pitch, and see if we can replicate that feeling. There is no better feeling than when you are successful.

“We are enjoying a bit of success at the moment, but we are still not out of the woods, and that is something we have to understand and deal with.”

And the manager was pleased to hear that the last ten goals from his side had been scored by different players.

He said: “It is good that there are goals around the team. All I have done since I have been here is coach defending and shape and organisation, I haven’t really done forward play.

“I have always been a believer that if you have a good base to your play the rest of it follows, and we have players who can score.

“It is good that the goals have been shared around because a team cannot look at us and say if we stop him we will stop them scoring.”

And John has also been encouraged by the consistency of his back line. He said: “I haven’t changed my back five because it has done well.

“Steve Mildenhall is an experienced goalkeeper and Mark McChrystal is in his late 20s but it is a relatively young back four, and they have responded very, very well.

“I have not needed to change it at this moment in time, but I bought Clayton McDonald in, so they know they have got a little bit of threat there.”

And Rovers make the relatively short journey across the country to take on Oxford on Saturday.

John said: “They will be up for it because they are at home, and their manager saw our game against Cheltenham on Tuesday so they will have good information on us, but I have got to put that to one side.

“I talk about the opposition maybe for 15 minutes before a game, but I spend more time talking to my team about what we can do.

“Warning them against the pitfalls of complacency, but at the same time telling them if we perform the way we are doing we have a chance to win another game. 

“The Kassam Stadium is a good place, and it is still a relatively new ground. I understand there could be up to 2,000 Rovers people there, so there will be a lot of noise.”

For the full interview visit Gas Player

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