Ward's thoughts on first away win
Rovers’ boss John Ward was a happy man after seeing his side record their first away win of the season at Oxford this afternoon.
John-Joe O’Toole’s penalty was all that separated the two sides but Rovers made the erstwhile league leaders look quite an ordinary outfit and the win was thoroughly deserved.
“I ‘m delighted, for the players and the supporters”, said Ward
“We have played as well as that in one or two games when we haven’t won, which shows that there are fine margins in this game.
“Today we have clinched victory with a good performance and I’m pleased for the fans because they have followed us and stuck with us and I’m pleased for the players. A performance like that has been coming for a while.”
The manager was also pleased with the contribution of his on loan strker Chris Beardsley, who came in for his Rovers debut.
“He did exactly what I expected him to do. He’s a number nine, and a nuisance to defenders. He doesn’t leave them alone and brings his team mates into play.
‘That was his first league game for eight months and although he played on Tuesday in a County Cup game he was really strong for us today and gave us a big lift and proved to be a good leader for the young boys.”
Of the penalty awarded to his side, Ward said; “I could tell that it was a foul on Eliot, but I couldn’t see if it was inside the area.
“The spot kick was well taken, and I was pleased to see the ball go in because I felt we had done enough to be in front and to win the game. We had played exceptionally well without getting the breaks.
“It’s been a really strong day for the team and a lot of my boys have grown up this afternoon.”
Goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall made a couple of crucial saves and helped his young back four all through the game.
“Behind a very youthful back four we had the experience of Steve; he’s a good talker and the younger lads are becoming very good listeners.
“It was a big game to come into and everyone might have been expecting a home win, but I thought we deserved the points.”