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Finley: It was just one of those days for us

10 March 2024

Interviews

Finley: It was just one of those days for us

10 March 2024

 

Sam Finley conceded the quality of Derby County showed as Bristol Rovers fell to a 3-0 defeat to Saturday’s visitors to the Memorial Stadium.

Promotion-chasing Derby scored two quick-fire goals in the second half, through Dwight Gayle and Tom Barkhuizen, before Martyn Waghorn slotted home a third for the Rams late on to secure all three points.

While the scoreline, on paper, paints the picture of a completely one-sided performance, the Gas put in a courageous and valiant effort, and just fell short against their opponents.

For Finley, the second-half showing by Rovers was actually more positive, despite conceding a trio of finishes, but acknowledged that the Rams’ style and gameplan caught the home side out.

“It was difficult,” he said. “We weren’t at our best in the first half but then we came in at half-time at 0-0 and, weirdly, I thought we were better in the second half but we went on to lose the game.

“I thought Derby were very good, very organised and very experienced. They’re one of the better sides I’ve played in this league this year, personally.

 

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“I don’t think they had many chances and I don’t think Jed [Ward] had much to do. I didn’t feel that they overly threatened us but they had the rotation and the movement. We had our game plan to go after them from the off, being at home, but I think they were good at playing out from the back and moving us around. When we got the ball, we weren’t creating. It was just one of those days for us.

“It’s hard. We were the home team and we weren’t here to play for draws, and I know the manager certainly isn’t here to play for draws either. We want to win every game we can.”

For Finley, Saturday’s match at The Mem marked his first start for the Gas since the home win over Oxford United at the end of January.

The 31-year-old missed February’s fixtures due to an injury, before returning from the bench with a near half-an-hour showing in the win at Leyton Orient.

With another 79 minutes under his belt this weekend, Finley feels he is getting back to his best after a difficult start to Saturday’s fixture.

“I thought I struggled early on, to be honest,” he added. “I was lacking a little bit. I thought I got a foothold in the game midway through the first half and I thought I did well in the second half.

“I’m just lacking a bit of match sharpness. If you don’t play for a week then it can be a struggle with match sharpness, so it was tough for me for the first 15-20 minutes or so.”


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