By Stuart HepburnDarrell Clarke seemed impressed with Rovers performance against Dorchester, highlighting that it was important they avoided an early cup upset.
“It was a really pleasing performance. Being clinical in the final third was something that we have been lacking, albeit against Dorchester, but you still need to be clinical to kill the game off.”
“I’ve said it before, those sorts of games can be massive banana skins and we approached it in the right manner; very professional and very clinical.”
Rovers go in to tonight’s First Round draw after the 7-1 win at Dorchester. When asked who an ideal opponent would be, Clarke joked: “A really tough away game that we have no chance of winning. Only joking, we want a home draw to be honest, essentially so we can progress as far as we can in the competition. Obviously the League 1 and 2 teams come into it now, but whoever we get we’ll give them a good game that’s for sure.”
Clarke was asked whether cup football was a distraction from the league games, he said; “No, I think it’s great. We want to do well in the FA Cup, and we want to win the FA Trophy. I want to win all the games we play in. The cup is a different occasion, and obviously it helps the club financially as well.”
The Rovers boss was also questioned about the effect the extra games had on his squad. The squad has been stretched at times already during the season.
“Well, the more money you make, the greater chance of strengthening the squad, so it’s a double-edged sword really.”
“We want to play and win every game, whether it’s a 5-a-side game on the training pitch or an FA cup game.”
Clarke also seemed impressed with the young players who came into the side for the win on Saturday. He noted that it has been difficult to change the starting 11 given Rovers good form in the league.
“There haven’t been a lot of reasons to change it. There are some very good players that haven’t had a good chance. It’s up to the boys to take the opportunities when they get them.”
“Jamie [White] and Dominic [Thomas] are both working really hard, as are all of the first-year professionals. They do have a tough job to try and break in to the side. They’re doing a lot of extra training, and I’ve been pleased with the way all of them are developing.”
Rovers return to league action against Telford on Saturday. Telford sit bottom of the league, with only 1 league win this season.
“All away games are tough. They haven’t had a great first quarter of the season, but it’s a tough place to go like all the games. You can guarantee that they’ll raise their game by 10% because it’s Bristol Rovers that are in town.”
Clarke also commented on the current state of fitness regarding a couple of players.
“Stuart [Sinclair] has a bone bruising on his knee, we’ve had it scanned, there’s no surgery needed and it’s not too serious. We’ll monitor him as the weeks go by.”
“Lee Brown has a got a sore Achilles and he won’t be training today but we’re hoping that’s not too serious. We’re also hoping that Angelo Balanta will be in full training at sometime this week.”