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Club News


21 March 2013

Manager on Saturday's game

John Ward knows that his team face a tough test when they travel to Bradford this weekend.

The Yorkshire side got to the final of the Capital One Cup after beating a number of Premiership sides, and on their day our manager knows they are tough opposition.

He said: “Bradford had a win at home during the week, and we have to play a team that has played at Wembley and beaten a few Premiership teams, and on their day they are a very, very good side.

“I know their manager pretty well and he will be pushing for that play off spot.

“We are in for a tough game against a team who have done well on their own patch, so I have to make sure my players are ready for this. We have to make life tough for them.

“Our last away game at Chesterfield was disappointing, and we don’t want a re-occurrence of that, if we slip up against Bradford they are capable of putting a number of goals past us and we do not want that.”

And the manager will be boosted by the return of Joe Anyinsah, and the news that Fabian Broghammer and Oli Norburn are making good progress.

He said: “We have got Joe Anyinsah back in training, and we are pretty close to getting Fabian Broghammer back in full training.

“He might go into next week, but Joe will have a good chance for this coming weekend.

“Oli Norburn is progressing really well, wont make this Saturday but we are looking for the Easter programme to get Oli back out on the pitch.

“The senior boys have done very well, and with seven big games left to play we have still got points to get and make sure we are in good stead, and I think that is still a requirement of an older head rather than young legs.

“Having said that, the young boys who have come in and been asked to do jobs in sometimes strange positions have been excellent. The whole mood and attitude of the squad has been very good.

“An older head can deal with situations that little bit better, but it is also nice to have some young legs around the place as well.”

And the manager was delighted for Ellis Harrison who received a call up to the Wales U21 squad this week.

John said: “He is with them and they have a game tomorrow evening. We will be going over to pick him up and bring him up to Bradford  and get him back with us.

“We will see if he plays, but whatever happens he will be up with us on Saturday, and he wants to do that.

“We are happy to give him his chance with his counter parts in Wales and hopefully he does very well for them.

“I wouldn’t be able to use him Saturday if he plays a full game, but he is very much part of our football club and the fact that he has done well at Bristol Rovers has brought him that recognition. The nice thing is people are recognising what a good player he can be.”

The weather may be putting a doubt in people’s minds about the game on Saturday, but John and his side will be preparing as normal.

He said: “We go up to train at Stoke City tomorrow afternoon, and until somebody tells us that that cannot be done or the game is not on then we get on and prepare as normal.

“We are used to it in a way as we had a few of these in January, and then again last Saturday, with the will we wont we, but the players can just get on with it. We deal with these problems when they crop up.”

And it has been back to normal on the training ground this week after a hectic schedule of games.

“It has been what we would call a ‘normal’ week, training Monday and Tuesday petty hard, had a break Wednesday and then Thursday and Friday are preparation days.

“We have had a very hectic schedule of games, so last week they had a couple of days break, which is always a bit of a risk, but I felt they needed it.

“This week has been normal, and we have got back on the bike and got on with it.”

And although the future of players is currently being discussed, John still sees securing Rovers’ future as the most important issue.

“Player issues are being discussed between me and the Chairman, it is already on-going.

“My view when I came here was to make sure this football club was in a good shape and a good position, and we are getting there, but we still have seven more games to play and until those are done then other things get put on the shelf to be dealt with later.

“I have never talked about being safe, I talk about winning games and getting forward.

“We have always looked ahead and we will continue to do that until the season is complete and see how high up this division we can finish.”

For the full interview visit Gas Player.

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