Manager's thoughts on last night's game at Gigg Lane
Manager Darrell Clarke was pleased with the way his side played for much of last night’s game against Bury at Gigg Lane last night, but was disappointed at the way they defended the corner that led to the home side’s second, and winning, goal.
He sent his side out in a 3-5-2 formation and admitted it took a while for them to adjust, especially after conceding a goal in the third minute.
“We looked a little bit lost with our shape for the first 20 minutes, and then we grew into the game.
“We controlled things right up until the 70th minute, but we didn’t punish them in the final third, something we have said on many occasions this season.
“The result was very disappointing, but I think we saw glimpses of how I want the team to play. After that opening spell, I thought there was only one team that was going to go on and win the game.
“However we then conceded a goal from a set piece, which is totally unacceptable.”
It was certainly a much better away performance than those we saw at Hartlepool and Fleetwood and, had they been more clinical in front of goal, then Rovers might well have returned home with all three points, or at least a share of the spoils.
“I think the fans who were here saw a different Bristol Rovers tonight, but we still need to raise the quality of our game as we continue to be a little bit sloppy when we are in possession.
“There were a couple of times tonight when we gave the ball away in sloppy areas, and that was our downfall at times.
“It was an entertaining game to watch, but it’s just disappointing that we go away with nothing.
“We put balls into their box and got in a lot of crosses, but our finishing has to be better.
“The worse thing tonight was that we conceded that early goal, but the response was good and we settled down and got ourselves back into the game.”
Given that he has only had limited time on the training ground to get the players used to then system in use last night, it was an admirable performance and a sign of things to come.
“The top teams in this league play the ball out from the back, their movement is good, and their finishing is clinical something ours wasn’t tonight.
“Bury’s winner was a very sloppy goal. We had players in that area and the ball went across two of them and that’s not acceptable.
“There were positives to take from the game, but it gets a little bit frustrating when we are at this stage of the season and still talking about not having quality in the final third and not taking our chances.
“However we have to keep going and remain positive.”
You can hear Darrell's interview in full, and also an interview with Matt Harrold, on Gas Player