Manager Darrell Clarke was disappointed with his side’s first half performance in last night’s 0-2 defeat at Barnet.
Trailing at half time, the manager changed the system after the break and saw an improved performance, and the creation of a number of chances, though they couldn’t quite make the breakthrough.
“It was very disappointing first half, as we played a system where we needed to pass the ball and the players take responsibility.
“However we never really got a foothold in the game and, from my point of view, we conceded two very sloppy goals which we can’t afford to do at this level.
“In the second half I thought we huffed and puffed a little bit and created a number of chances, but we had given ourselves a mountain to climb.
“There was no point in putting long balls up to Jamie White and Matty Taylor as they need balls into their feet. We need players to take responsibility, get on the ball, and get higher up the pitch.”
Barnet’s first goal was scored by former Rovers loanee John Akinde, whose physical presence caused Rovers quite a few problems, though the big striker was never once cautioned by the referee in spite of a number of robust challenges, one of which saw Tom Lockyer have his teeth rearranged and requiring dental treatment when the side returned to Bristol.
Rover’s back line appeared to think Akinde was offside when he scored.
“It looked as though we stepped up when we shouldn’t have and I’ll need to have another look at it on the DVD.
“As for the second goal, Will Puddy will be disappointed with the way he dealt with the long range shot. He should have pushed it the other way but that said, we didn’t react very well to the situation.”
Puddy, making his Rovers debut, could only push out a long range effort from Mauro Vilhete into the path of home skipper Charlie MacDonald, who rolled the ball into an unguarded net.
“It is a bit of a reality check and this is a very tough job at the moment, because we came into the season with high expectations and we certainly dipped way below them tonight.
“We shouldn’t be losing games in the manner we did tonight, and that was unacceptable.
“We just have to get on with things and stay together as a group. Things are difficult at the moment and it is a tough job, but it’s one I’m more than capable of turning around.”
The manager admits he needs a couple of additions to his squad, but his two latest targets won’t be coming to the Memorial Stadium.
“The striker I was hoping to bring here has opted to go to Dagenham & Redbridge and the loan player I was hoping to bring in has proved to be too expensive, so it’s back to the drawing board.”
The interview with Darrell can be heard in full on Gas Player, along with an interview with Matty Taylor.