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Match Previews

5️⃣ Point Preview

26 February 2018

Manager Darrell Clarke spoke to the press on Monday afternoon to preview our encounter at the Mem against Wigan.

We have picked out five main topics from what was discussed in Darrell's pre-match press conference. 

On his squad's character to rescue a point against Scunthorpe...

Rovers again came from behind to stave off defeat on Saturday, as Ellis Harrison provided late drama with a late equaliser - which pleased the Manager.

"Saturday was a testament to the character of the players, to keep on going until the final whistle."

"It's really pleasing to know that the boys can do that. We were a little disappointed with the goal we conceded, we switched off defensively and it was similar to maybe the goal we conceded at Wimbledon, just switching off at a key moment in the game."

"I pride myself on the character of my team and they are a mentally strong group."

On facing promotion-chasing Wigan...

Wigan have a number of games in hand on the teams above them and are expected to make an immediate return to the Championship, as well as enjoying a successful run in the Emirates FA Cup.

"For me, they are the best team in the League. They are in the quarter-final of the Emirates FA Cup and Paul Cook has done a fantastic job there."

"It's all right saying that they have the best players, but you still have to get results and Paul has done fantastic to get them where they are."

"When you come up against a team that have beaten Manchester City, you know that it's going to be a tough test, but I know our fans will be right up for the game."

On playing the big teams in the division...

Last season Rovers shared the spoils with the big hitters in SkyBet League One, earning a point against the likes of Sheffield United and Bolton, with the Manager insisting that teams are always wary of facing his squad.

"We certainly can get results against the top teams."

"I think we are a well-respected team in this division and we are establishing ourselves in SkyBet League One."

"Teams know that they are going to have a very tough test when they face us, as Scunthorpe found out on Saturday."

On our last encounter with Tuesday's opponents...

Ten men Rovers were defeated by a 3-0 scoreline when the sides met earlier in the season at the DW Stadium. Ryan Sweeney was dismissed during that encounter against the Latics.

"Looking back at that game, I played a diamond that day and we had great opportunities to hit Wigan on the counter-attack and we could have got the first goal."

"We just didn't look after that final ball and we were actually playing and defending quite well and then we had a man sent-off and that obviously changed the game."

"It's hard enough going there and playing eleven-v-eleven, let alone playing with ten men."

On ambitions between now and the end of the season...

Darrell pointed out the continued successes of the Development Squad and insisted that his side will continue to chase down the highest possible points tally between now and the end of the season.

"We just have to keep going and keep trying to win games."

"A lot has been said about where we are and where we are based in the league structure, but we are improving as a football club."

"I'm really pleased with how the U23's are developing players and pleased with how we have evolved this season and how we were able to freshen things up in the January transfer window."

"When you put everything into context, we are moving in the right direction."

Watch Darrell's full pre-Wigan press conference below.

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