By Nathan BeesDeadline day is a notoriously quiet day at Rovers and Monday proved no different.
During the morning Darrell Clarke claimed he was hopeful he could add to his squad and that inevitably raised hopes amongst supporters that a new face will sign before the 11.00pm deadline.
I, like most people I’m sure, kept a close eye on Twitter for any breaking news throughout the day, but instead of seeing any Rovers-related transfer movement my timeline was inundated with tweets about Radamel Falcao.
The TV coverage was much the same. Sky Sports were crowing about the £800m+ spent by Premier League clubs like it was something to be proud of and it was as if anything below the top flight was considered irrelevant.
I wasn’t expecting a comprehensive round-up of Conference transfer movement but it becomes incredibly tedious to hear the same information on the same two or three players relayed over and over again.
If you weren’t a Manchester United player linked with a move to or form Old Trafford then you had absolutely no chance of getting a mention.
The whole deadline day shenanigans grew incredibly tiresome by mid-afternoon, although I found 5 Live’s coverage to be very good during the evening as they actually discussed things beyond the whereabouts of Falcao.
It was ideal for me during my shift at work that evening and I turned the volume up loud enough for the customers to hear it too…whether they wanted to or not!
Even though it was a huge improvement on Sky’s offering, Mark Chapman and Danny Murphy weren’t going to keep me up to date with Rovers, so I had to keep my phone out to regularly check Twitter. Fortunately my part-time allows me to do that!
Disappointingly, as time ticked by, I conceded the final day was going to be something of an anti-climax once again. It meant we had nothing to get excited about like supporters of other clubs did but in all honesty it didn’t really matter.
The team has been playing very well in the last couple of weeks and we’re beginning to pick up some positive results, so the need for new players was not particularly great. That’s not to say we couldn’t have found room for a creative midfielder or a pacey right winger, for example, because we definitely could, but it wasn’t essential.
I’m pleased with the players DC has at his disposal and with our on-field performances improving with each game we appear to be well equipped. There is competition for places right through the team — with the exception of wide areas — and we can chop and change as we need to for each Conference test we face.
We have the players to be able to play direct and on the deck and it will prove a very useful quality as the season goes on.
DC obviously does want to improve the squad though and the loan window is available to us from next week. As a loan signing was always the most likely incoming on deadline day we haven’t actually lost the opportunity to sign a new player like Premier League sides have.
Jamie Turley looks set to join when he’s given the green light to return to competitive action as well, so for all intents and purposes the closure of the transfer window doesn’t affect us.
Attentions can now turn to Saturday and it is important we don’t allow ourselves to fall foul of complacency as we head to Braintree Town.
The Essex side sit one place above us in the table at the moment but their ground will be as ‘non-league’ as anything we’ve seen so far. We put in our worst performance of the season in a similar environment at Altrincham last month and the key to a successful result will be ensuring the players have the right mindset.
We’ve beaten FC Halifax and we’ve drawn away at Forest Green Rovers and considering they’re around the top of the league we have nothing to fear about any side. Being confident is a good thing but we have to go out and earn the 3 points, meaning we will need to be prepared to dig deep and out-fight our hosts.
There will be a very good Gas following at the Amlin Stadium and they will rightly be expecting an awful lot more from their side than they got at Altrincham.
That’s not to say they will be putting unnecessary pressure on the lads and making life difficult if we get off to a slow start, but they don’t want a repeat of the shambolic performance we saw three weeks ago.
With Wrexham coming to the Mem on Tuesday we have a great chance to build up some momentum and climb the table over the coming days. A positive result tomorrow will be the ideal way to go into that game and the rest of our September fixtures — and there’s quite a few of them. Bring it on.
Come on Rovers, come on you blues!