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1 January 2013

Manager's thoughts on Plymouth


Rovers boss John Ward was delighted that his first home game ended in victory at the Memorial Stadium this afternoon.

First half goals from Joe Anyinsah and Matt Lund set Rovers on the way to victory and although the visitors scored after the break Rovers held on, fairly comfortably, to claim all three points.

“It’s a great game back for all of us, particularly our supporters who needed a result like that as much as the rest of us.

“On the day everything came together for us. There there were a few scary moments, but we didn’t expect Plymouth to allow us to dominate and we also gave them a few scary moments

“I asked the players to play the way the supporters consider they would play, to pull the shirt on and run around and give it everything.

“I think the supporters saw that from the team, and they all worked hard to get that win and we can all share in it.

“Both teams provided each other problems from set plays, but our two finishes were as good as you will see at any level. The deliveries were good and the finishes were really pleasing.”

Rovers were forced on to the back foot a little bit in the second period.

“In the second half we had to dig in and defend for a twenty minute spell. We have worked on our defending, on the training ground, which I think helped us a little bit this afternoon.

“It was a really good game between two teams fighting hard to get away from the bottom of the table and both teams gave their all in a very hard fought match.”

The three new players signed yesterday all made their debuts against Argyle. Goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall was seldom troubled, but his experience will help the other players in the weeks ahead, while John-Joe O’Toole picked up the Man of the Match Award. Tom Hitchcock, playing the lone striker role up top, ran his socks off for the team and all three newcomers look to be excellent additions to the squad.

“I knew that in Steve Mildenhall had played for Scunthorpe only last Saturday, so he’s up to speed. 

“John-Joe O’Toole, when he was 18, was in Watford’s first team and then lost his way a little bit. He came to Colchester and what you saw today is what he does. He’s strong, he’s a battler and fighter and has a goal or two in him.”

Tom Parkes was made skipper this afternoon.

“He was made captain as I didn’t have too many others to choose from. Tom is a leader; when we put a huddle together at the end of the game I asked him to speak to them and he was terrific. His approach and that kind of attitude is why I gave him the armband.”

The loans of Cian Bolger and Matt Lund have now expired and the manager has to work quickly if he is to get them back to the Memorial Stadium.

“I have to work on things tomorrow. Leicester have called Cian back as things stand and I have to see what the position is there. Matt Lund is also going back to talk things over with Stoke boss Tony Pulis.

“I hope we can get them back in, but I do have more work to do to achieve that.”

Summing up the afternoon the manager said; “It’s a big thing for the team to enjoy a win today. They earned a good point at Aldershot and if they can keep their attitude and their belief then they can face another massive challenge on Saturday when we face Gillingham.”


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