Manager's thoughts on away win
Bristol Rovers lifted themselves off the bottom of the table with a hard fought win at Rotherham today.
Lee Brown’s first goal of the season, from the penalty spot, Ellis Harrison’s first ever senior goal and another goal from Joe Anyinsah secured victory at the New York Stadium.
Manager John Ward resisted the temptation to keep a winning team, and made three changes to the side that beat Fleetwood two weeks ago .
“It would have been very easy for me to name the same team, but we were playing a side that plays in a different way, and I had more players to choose from on this occasion.
“It was a case of us needing to match Rotherham, who came at us really strongly in the first twenty minutes. We had to get through that without conceding, and we did that pretty well.”
The manager also said that he was very proud of his team.
“I am proud of them and everything about the way we won the game. The supporters could see what we were trying to do and we put in a very disciplined performance.”
Rovers scored the opening goal from the penalty spot, three minutes before the break, and the home side had to play the second half with ten men following the dismissal of defender Claude Davis.
“Things changed with the penalty and the sending off, but we made the decision to stay as we were and kept our shape, which had proved difficult for Rotherham to break down.
“We went on to score two more superb goals by exploiting the little bit of extra space we had once they were reduced to ten men.
“We didn’t play badly, but we played differently to the way we played at Fleetwood, where we were able to pass and play a little bit more whereas today we had to be dogged and strong.”
Brown opened the scoring with a penalty, although newcomer Ryan Brunt was hoping to claim the responsibility.
“I haven’t actually designated as penalty taker in my time here, but the boys on the side with me said that Lee was the penalty taker and he tucked it away. It’s a responsibility, but is something I never wanted to do when I was a player.
“I admire the strength and character of players who can take a penalty in situations like that.”
“Ward’s side hadn’t trained on grass for a week, because of the snow covered training pitches, but that didn’t show in their performance.
“The boys have been very positive in everything they have done in training, and have got on with things and responded to everything we have asked them to do.
“We have now recorded two massive away wins against teams looking to get promotion out of this division and it’s been really good for our players and our supporters.”