By Daniel JonesAssistant boss Marcus Stewart says that Rovers’ sole aim this season is to catch Barnet at the top of the table, and believes that the side is capable of doing so.
Not content with just a play-off spot, Stewart says that the team will fight for the remainder of the campaign to reel in the league leaders: “We have to come out of the Christmas Period hopefully having not lost any ground on Barnet, that’s the aim, if we can gain ground on them then that’s a bonus.
“Barnet is always what we’re going for, until it’s mathematically out of reach then of course we’re going to go for them, there are always the play-offs, but Barnet are still well in contact with us.
“On our on-days, we can beat anyone, and on our off-days, anyone can beat us, that’s how I like to look at it, and so far we’ve not had too many off days. We’ve been really well prepared and really up for games, there’s not a note of complacency in us, which can happen in teams who are winning games, but I trust the lads here to keep it going.”
As a former lethal striker himself, Stewart, like the fans, is frustrated at the team’s lack of goals. He says that they are all working hard to increase the side’s firepower:
“We’re creating opportunities still, there is that frustration when you’re creating chances but you don’t get a goal. The players here are professional, they act professionally, they do their best to give themselves the best chance of scoring goals on a Saturday, and that’s all we can ask of the players really, is that they keep trying throughout the week.”
In the hectic schedule coming up over the next few weeks, Rovers have a few injury concerns to toil with, but defender Tom Lockyer should be back in contention for Friday’s game against Gateshead:
“We’ve got one or two injuries, which is why we felt we should rest a few players before the Christmas period, and also to give other players the minutes that they needed on Saturday. Tom Lockyer has been ill throughout the week but he is back in training now, so we’ll see how he is over the next few days, it can sometimes take a few days to get right again.
“Lee Brown hasn’t trained all week because of injury, so we’ll also see how he is.”
Stewart is expecting a close game against last season’s play-off finalists Gateshead, but thinks the home team will have the edge come kick off:
“They’re a very good side with the ball, they’re very patient on the ball, and off it, but the way we play we’ll win the ball back and get the ball forward, and if we keep doing that and keep our energy levels up, we have a better chance of winning the game than they do.”