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Match Previews

Darrell Clarke's 5️⃣ Point Preview

22 March 2018

Darrell Clarke addressed the media on Thursday afternoon at the training ground ahead of Saturday's clash with Peterborough United.

We've highlighted the five key points from the Manager as attention shifts to this weekend's game.

Peterborough and Steve Evans...

Darrell takes his side to the London Road Stadium on Saturday to take on newly appointed Posh boss Steve Evans and his Peterborough side, who are in good shape for a play-off push.

"I get on well with Steve [Evans], he's a winner and he's got promotions on his CV so he's been successful and earnt the right to be a manager.

"I've got a lot of respect for him but he can certainly get a bit animated on the sidelines but I'll be steering clear of that!

"Yeah it'll be a tough game, they have good players and battered us in the home match earlier in the season which was really disappointing.

"Jack Marriott's scoring a lot of goals, Marcus Maddison's a good player and they've got more throughout the team but I'm sure when they've watched us they'll be saying the same things."

Business as usual...

Saturday's result was a tough one to take for the squad, however Darrell insists it hasn't knocked his players' morale.

"The squad has been the same since Saturday to be honest with you, they're quite a level-headed group.

"Obviously a disappointing result, but not performance and one of those where unfortunately the decisions go against you."

Officiating...

The game at Home Park was subject to controversy over some indifferent opinions on some refereeing decisions which were ultimately decisive on the result, something the gaffer believes has affected him in the recent past.

"I've had three or four apologies off officials already this season, so for me not many of the big decisions have gone our way, but sometimes that can happen for you.

"I think it levels itself out as a football club, but managers can lose their jobs on it.

"Say for example you're a new manager and in your first 10 games, three or four big decisions go against you're under massive pressure.

"I think the authorities are doing a good job, referees are getting assessed and punished for not getting the big calls right.

"Officials are under a lot of pressure from managers to get the big decisions right.

Play-offs...

The loss at Argyle leaves Rovers seven points off the top six with nine games remaining, however Darrell isn't writing off the possibility of clinching a play-off spot just yet.

"The way I look at it is we've got to put a run together of wins on the spin, certainly three out of the next four.

"You never know in football, we certainly won't be giving in and we know it's a massive game on Saturday.

"The only reason we're not in the top six is that poor run of form we had earlier in the season.

"We've put that aside now, the performances since the turn of the year have been very good."

Striking options...

Ellis Harrison has been in great form of late, netting five goals in his last eight appearances, whilst Dom Telford has been looking good in Development Squad games of late.

"If you look at Ellis' starts, he's mostly one goal every two games at Rovers and as a developing young lad he's had to have a few clips round the ear and I even sent him up to Hartlepool for a month!

"He's brilliant, but there are still areas he can improve on, I have spoken with him this morning on how he can improve as a player."

"Dom's [Telford] done well against a young Forest Green team but you can only beat what's in front of you... I would probably have scored five in that game!

"He's a young lad, I know what his strengths are but the system we're playing at the moment maybe doesn't suit him and what I think he's very good at, but he's one we'll look at in the future."


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