Let me say from the off that I think yesterday's result against Crawley is a good one. We played top of the league, a side who had scored in every single game since September, and drew 0-0.
Okay we had no shots on target, which many people will pick fault at, but I felt we looked relatively dangerous when we attacked them and they certainly weren't comfortable. Of course we could have committed more men forward on occasions to try and score, but if we did that we ran the risk of being left exposed to a counter attack that would consist of the deadly Matt Tubbs and Tyrone Barnett. I think the 3-5-2 formation used suits the players to a tee and the fact they battled as a team to prevent Crawley from scoring is highly encouraging. Our first clean sheet since October is a sign of improvement and that has been aided by the arrivals of Michael Poke in goal and Aaron Downes at centre half, who I feel have been superb since joining us. Poke seems much more assured in his ability than Scott Bevan and brings confidence to our defenders, something they've not had for a while. Downes is a commanding centre back who brings a solidity to our back-line and plays the position remarkably similar to Steve Elliott in his prime. If we could sign either permanently I think it would be very good bits of business from the club, but of course that would be down to the new manager...
Talking of the managerial situation and chairman Nick Higgs clarified the situation yesterday on BBC Radio Bristol, informing Gasheads and Geoff Twentyman that an appointment will be made by midweek. You'd like to think that would be the case, but Toni Watola told the press that we'd make an appointment within 7-10 days, a deadline that passed last week, so you never know with Rovers. Higgs revealed that there is now a shortlist of 4 and final interviews will take place on Monday, so maybe it'll be a little clearer after that. I'm praying it's not Keith Curle or somebody already employed by the club, but knowing us it will be.
Either way, it makes for an exciting week ahead for Gasheads. We'll find out the identity of our new manager before visiting high-flying West Country rivals Cheltenham Town at Whaddon Road. It has the potential to be a good week, IF the right decisions are made in the coming days by those at the top.