By Nathan Bees
It was another disappointing away performance at Dagenham last weekend and I’m sure the few hundred Gasheads who made the effort to travel didn’t enjoy the trip home.
If we’re being honest I don’t think there was any point during the game where we looked like seriously troubling goalkeeper Chris Lewington and therefore the destination of the points always seemed likely to be staying in East London.
The fact we’re winless (and pointless) away from the Mem so far isn’t encouraging and we need to try and rectify that in time for our fixture at Southend United in a week’s time but thankfully we can concentrate on a home game this weekend.
In situations like we currently find ourselves in it’s important to accentuate the positives and use them to our advantage, which I’m sure is exactly the message John Ward will be relaying to his players.
If any of the boys happen to be reading this remember that you have already proven you can win matches at the Mem, believe you can go out and do it again.
There’s no point going over old ground in regards to the negatives of last weekend, it isn’t going to help anyone heading into an important game. While everybody was perfectly aware of how poor our away displays have been so far we need to ensure we don’t let it affect the atmosphere amongst supporters.
We have all been frustrated, but focussing solely on the negatives will have an adverse influence on the confidence of the team and it’s important we don’t allow that to happen.
What can we do to help get our season up and running again?
As always we can turn up in our numbers and get behind the team with the kind of vocal backing we’ve displayed at Ashton Gate and Home Park in recent weeks. There’s nothing better when arriving at a game and hearing Gasheads in good voice and it would be great if we can engineer an upbeat atmosphere before, during and after our clash with Hartlepool United.
Okay I’ll say it (because I’m sure we were all thinking it)... Hartlepool may not be a glamorous fixture and the prospect of this League Two game isn’t made any brighter when you consider the starts both sides have had to this season but don’t let that put you off.
Not only does this usually mean that the game will be highly entertaining to make a mockery of the form-guide but we should support the boys regardless.
There will be a hardy bunch of Pools supporters making the trip down and they will do so purely because they want to get behind their team and not because a day at Bristol Rovers is particularly exciting. With this in mind let’s do our bit and make the Mem intimidating for Hartlepool tomorrow afternoon, it will undoubtedly help our chances.
It’s these kind of games that you look back on at the end of the season and identify whether there was enough character about the squad to grind out results.
If come May you’re looking back at our Autumnal fixtures and see the letter ‘W’ next to it then it’s likely we’ve enjoyed a solid season. I’m not going to make any bold predictions because, as always, I will be completely wrong, but I don’t think we should be writing off the campaign just yet as 3 points could see us fly back up into mid-table.
It will be a difficult game given the fact Colin Cooper’s men picked up their first victory last weekend but I’m glad they achieved it before they played us. They will be a stubborn outfit and will make life difficult for us but we have the quality to be able to unlock their stubborn rearguard.
If we can make it an uncomfortable afternoon for the Monkey Hangers with our singing then we have already given our boys the upper hand.
I know the majority of supporters will be out in force ready to support their team but if any of you are in two minds do the right thing and get behind your team. They need us through the good and the bad times and while we’ve definitely endured more of the latter in recent years we can enjoy victory all the more knowing we’ve played our part.