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Match Previews

Match Preview - Rovers v Newport

22 October 2021

The lowdown on Saturday's fixture at the Mem.

Rovers head back to the Mem following an unbeaten week on the road.

Rovers returned from both Bradford and Colchester with a point, stretching an unbeaten streak away from home to three games.

Newport County visit the Mem on Saturday, in a fixture that has somewhat of a local derby feel, given the short proximity between the two clubs.

Get all your need-to-know info below ahead of this weekend's game!

Manager's Preview

Joey Barton sat down with the local press on Friday morning, offering his thought's on our recent away form and his take on Saturday's fixture.

Barton focused on the role the crowd can play in building positive momentum come 3pm Saturday...

"They’re (the fans) starting to understand what we’re trying to do and they can see the results coming, but we need our 12th man on Saturday because Newport will have that with the travelling contingent, they’ll be full of confidence with the new manager boost they will get.

"They (Newport) are already a good settled side who try to play the right way and I don’t think we’ve earned the right for teams to fear coming to the Mem, especially when there is that bit of nervousness in our crowd.

"I think the Gasheads need to trust that this team is going to move in the right direction. It has done in recent weeks and if we get that 12th man support, which they can be when they’re really behind us, I think that will set us up for a really positive performance and hopefully a really positive afternoon on Saturday."

Player Preview

Alfie Kilgour also spoke with the press ahead of Friday's training session. Being a local lad, Kilgour highlighted the derby nature of this fixture and how much he's looking forward to the atmosphere this weekend at BS7.

Opposition View

With a new Manager announced on Tuesday, the focus on the pre-match media from Saturday's visitors has been on the arrival of a new boss at Rodney Parade.

Rowberry, who is from Newport, insists that he's delighted to be at the helm of the Exiles, telling, "It gives me goosebumps thinking about being manager of the football club.

"It's a dream come true in many ways to start my managerial career at the club that I've got lots of connections to,"

"Being from Newport and living in Newport all my life, I am ecstatic to get going!"

On Rovers, Rowberry added, "They're 17th in the league at the moment, they'll be industrious - a bit like [manager] Joey [Barton] was as a player. They'll be hard-working and they've changed system quite a few times this season so we'll have to be prepared for that.

"But make no illusions, the focus for me and my team and my staff will be about us and that's what we've got to focus on: Newport County."

Form Guide

Saturday's game will be James Rowberry's first game in charge of Newport County, following his appointment on Tuesday.

Rowberry joins the Exiles following a stint as first-team coach at Cardiff City and will be looking to emulate the recent success of Michael Flynn, who guided the club to two play-off finals.

This season the Exiles' mixed form has seen them occupy a mid-table position in Sky Bet League Two, tallying 17 points from 13 games so far this term.

Their recent form has seen them pick up just one win over the past five games, beating Scunthorpe United by a comfortable 3-0 margin at home at the start of October.

County's two away wins this season have come thanks to 1-0 victories at both Oldham and Tranmere.


View from the Press Bench

Chris Kirwan from the South Wales Argus provides an insight into the form of Saturday's opponents.

"Newport County AFC are starting a new era and manager James Rowberry takes over a side in pretty good shape.

"The Exiles have been inconsistent so far this season, hindered by injuries, coronavirus and a hectic schedule that saw them playing on the road at the start of the season because of work to the pitch at Rodney Parade. That was followed by the departure of Michael Flynn but caretaker boss Wayne Hatswell has led them on a four-game unbeaten streak in which the performances have been strong.

"They should have won against Carlisle on Tuesday but paid the price for missed chances and ended up holding on for a draw after, like Rovers, ending with nine men.

"The key man will be Matty Dolan, who sets the tone whether at the heart of the defence of sitting in midfield. Calm on the ball and with the ability to pick a pass under pressure, he is pivotal in tough away games.

"Further forward, look out for the lively Swansea City loanee Ollie Cooper and Dom Telford, who is fresh from a superb pair of goals against Carlisle.

"County will aim to take the sting out of the home support by holding onto the ball – something they did well when Exeter were pressing last week – and will be keen to stretch this unbeaten run and stay in touch with the play-offs."

Betting Preview

League sponsors Sky Bet have Rovers priced at 6/4 to pick up three points on Saturday. Brett Pitman can be backed at 2/1 to be on the scoresheet at any time, while Aaron Collins can be backed at 6/1 to open the scoring on Saturday.

To bet with Sky Bet please click HERE. Please bet responsibly.

Ref Watch

Scott Oldham is the man is in charge of Saturday's contest. Oldham has officiated 12 games this season so far, handing out 24 yellow cards and two red cards. His last Rovers game came in December 2020, in our 2-0 home defeat against Gillingham. In total, he has officiated 28 games in Sky Bet League Two, averaging 22.86 fouls per game and 2.57 yellow cards.


Matchday Info

Saturday's game is ALL TICKET - with no tickets available on the day.

In-person sales will end at 4pm Friday, with online ticket sales available up until 9am Saturday.

To purchase a ticket online for the game - please click HERE.

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