Saturday, January 28, 2012

A Poke In The Right Direction...

The Mem will be the venue of a big League Two game Saturday afternoon, as Bradford City make the trip south to face a rejuvenated Rovers. We've performed really well recently and hopefully the upturn in results will continue today. Saying that, we can't underestimate the Bantams and the threats they'll pose on the day. Players like Craig Fagan and Kyel Reid are attacking players who have experience at higher levels, with Fagan being part of the Hull City side that miraculously reached the Premier League in 2008, whilst Andrew Davies is a good defender for this division.

The boys from Valley Parade will be looking to rain on our parade and under the stewardship of Phil Parkinson, they'll be set up to exploit the pace they have within their side. Gas manager Mark McGhee has today told the local media that we are currently down to 'the bare bones' with a number of players picking up injuries over the past week. One of the players thought to be a doubt for tomorrow is stand-in captain Gary Sawyer, who has performed admirably alongside Aaron Downes and Cian Bolger in recent weeks, but MM refused to be drawn on who could be missing the game. Somewhat wisely, MM has remained tight-lipped on potential transfer targets although he has revealed he's been trying to strengthen the side over recent days. David Clarkson of Bristol City is one player linked with a loan switch having played under McGhee up at Motherwell, but that seems unlikely as the Scotsman has sustained an injury.

On the transfer front though and there is very good news emerging from the club today. Following McGhee's interviews with the press this morning, loanees Aaron Downes, Andy Dorman and Michael Poke have extended their current deals. I spoke earlier in the week about Downes being very keen to extend his stay with us, so I'm very pleased to see this come to fruition. He and Dorman have signed until the end of the season (I presume with a view to a full-time move in the summer), whilst Poke has extended his stay by a further month. I'm disappointed that's not until May like the others, as he's been a breath of fresh air since his switch from Brighton, but hopefully a further extension can occur in the coming weeks.

It's difficult to say how I'm feeling ahead of the game, I have to be honest. I'm confident because we've played well recently and have picked up some great results, but this is Rovers after all and we do have more than our fair share of injuries. It's horrible to think we could draw or even lose this one, but it's a possibility if we don't reach the expected levels of performance. I'll plump, as always, for a Gas win by 2 goals to nil.

Please happen! Goodnight Irene...

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