Post match comments from the manager
Against all the odds Rovers picked up a deserved victory at Fleetwood this afternoon, thanks to goals from Danny Woodards, Eliot Richards and John-Joe O’Toole.
The injury list was such that manager John Ward, faced with the late withdrawal of Fabian Broghammer with a knee injury, was only able to field five substitutes.
Ellis Harrison made his first senior start, and second year scholar made his Rovers debut when replacing Harrison with five minutes to go.
Reflecting on his side’s 3-0 win, Ward said; “I thought it was possible that we could win the game and I told the team they could do it if they played well.
“We were playing a side just outside the top six and you never go to a side like that and expect a comfortable afternoon.
“We won the game thanks to good finishing and a lot of hard work. We also had a lot of defending to do in the game.
“The front players will get the credit for the goals, but everyone contributed in a big way to winning that game. It was a result for what I call front foot football and the movement and play of our front two was terrific. They weren’t going to win headers if we had
played long balls up to them but getting the ball to them on the floor meant that we saw their fantastic pace and energy was fantastic and that encouraged everyone else.”
The young players on view showed glimpse of the future.
“They are playing in the first team today, and couple of them may well be playing in the youth team fixture on Monday. They are learning their trade in the first team, which is difficult, and I hope to bring in some experienced reinforcements to help them.
“Those boys displayed terrific energy this afternoon and while they were a little bit naive at times, something I understand, if they have the attitude and energy to start off with they respond to what happened.
“Ellis Harrison came in at the last minute when Fabian Broghammer dropped out and there was no fear from him at all; he just wanted to play and did so in a very positive manner. If he’s still doing that after twenty first team games then we will have a good player on our hands.
“Tom Hitchcock worked incredibly hard and was unlucky not to score, but maybe there will be a goal for him on another day. The staff at QPR told me what a hardworking player he was and we gave him a partner today, something we weren’t able to do in our last two games and he had a good, bright, partner in Eliot Richards and they played some bright football between them. They are both clever players who want to play and want to score.
“As for Eliot, he is a goalscorer, and we started well today and tried to put pressure on Fleetwood and the early goal gave everyone a big lift. That was a big performance from some of our young players today, and all of them are learning all the time. While we shouldn’t expect performances like that every week, if we get the same effort there can be no complaints.
“Today was a massive boost for us all because, in a sense, we have won nicely against massive odds.”
The manager still doesn’t know if any of his injured players will be available to him next week.
“I had thought that some might have been back today, and I will also try to bring players in to boost the squad numbers. We didn’t have a full bench today and we need to bring some new players in to help that situation.”