John Ward today announced that Scottish striker Derek Riordan had been allowed to leave early from his short-term contract and that Tom Eaves was set to return to Bolton at the conclusion of his loan spell. This will be a bitter blow to Ward who will now have to recruit 2 strikers on top of the strengthening needed elsewhere.
Fortunately we do get to keep him for 2 further games so he won't return to the Reebok Stadium until after the Cheltenham game at Whaddon Road on Saturday.
But what do we do next? We don't score many goals as it is but without Eaves we're without our only threat. Fortunately January is just around the corner and Ward will have the chance to seriously strengthen the squad. Potentially we'll need a new goalkeeper, a defender or two, a midfielder, a winger and 2 strikers, so he'll have his work cut out to bring players in of a decent quality. They'll need to make almost instantaneous impacts too if we're to pick up points over the next few weeks. There have been no rumours so far but speculation amongst Gasheads on Twitter has lead to Nathan Ellington being linked (again!) as well as tall striker Jabo Ibehre, who is currently on loan with Ward's former club Colchester United. It'll be interesting to see who we're able to attract here to turn our fortunes around but whoever they are I wish them well - we need to get through this together!
Next up is our Boxing Day clash with Aldershot Town at the EBB Stadium which is a real 6 pointer. They're within touching distance of us in the relegation zone and as we need to be beating the teams around us we have to go there with confidence and optimism. 3 points would be the perfect start - anything else we can't yet consider. Come on Rovers.
Up the Gas!