Manager's thoughts on the game at Twerton Park
Manager Darrell Clarke indicated, after yesterday’s game against Bath City, that he hoped to add another player to his squad on Monday morning; “I have verbally agreed a contract with a player and am hoping
that will go through on Monday provided there are no last minute hitches.”
Darrell had just watched his side of youngsters and triallists, along with two of his new signings, slip to a single goal defeat by their hosts, the only goal being scored by former Rovers defender Pat Keary in the 81st minute.
He was impressed by goalkeeper Kieran Preston and midfielder Jamie Gosling in particular.
“Kieran is still a second year scholar, but his distribution was excellent at times. Although he made one or two minor errors, I thought he did really well.
“Jake was neat and tidy on the ball and made things happen for us.”
“It was a tough ask to put a team out containing triallists and youngsters, but they kept digging in.
“We weren’t overawed and should have finished off a couple of the chances we created.
“Some of those lads have had a tough week, at our training camp at the University of South Wales, and were asked to play alongside a couple of triallists who they hadn’t played with before.
“The younger lads will, though, learn from the experience; they have to, and they have to do it quickly.”
Decisions have yet to be made on any of the four triallists who featured in the game at Twerton Park and the manager had this to say about them afterwards.
“Dan Thompson showed some nice early touches but picked up an injury, which was a shame, as I would have liked to have seen a bit more of him.
“Neal Trotman defended pretty well and was solid throughout, but he played a full season at Plymouth last year and has experience and is an organiser.
“As for Pierce Mitchell and Ryan Higgins, we will make decisions on those boys early next week.”
Darrell then looked, briefly, ahead to the game at Yeovil on Tuesday evening.
“We will be treating that as a first team game. I had to play youngsters today, as I only have a squad of 14 experienced players so we are very lightweight. The last thing I wanted to be doing was picking up
injuries in a game like this.
“Ryan Brunt will feature in the game down at Yeovil, which is good news, as he’s trained really well and is looking sharp.”
Michael Smith, the subject of transfer speculation earlier in the week, missed out yesterday with a slight injury problem.
“Michael remains a Bristol Rovers player and it’s too early to say if he will be ready to feature in the game at Yeovil.”
With his side now midway through their pre-season programme, Darrell said he was pleased with the way things are shaping up.
“I’m very pleased with the players I have here, even though the majority of them have only played one game and some of the others haven’t even played that.
“However their attitude has been good and the group has bonded well, but I do need to bring in another four players to add a little bit of strength and depth to the squad.”