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Club News

Strachan: Get Started

11 August 2016

Assistant manager Gavin Strachan tells Rovers to get going at home.

Assistant manager Gavin Strachan wants Rovers to kick-start their season this weekend when they welcome Crawley Town and Cambridge United to Keepmoat Stadium on Saturday and Tuesday respectively.

The hosts lost on the opening day of the season at Accrington, something that Rovers can learn from as the season progresses.

“We were a little bit too open we felt against Accrington in trying to chase the game with two counter-attacks and in both we felt we have the ascendancy therefore we can forgive the players a little bit for going for it,” he said.

“We would have obviously liked to have got points on the board in the first league game and we felt we could have nicked the game on Tuesday (in the EFL Cup defeat to Nottingham Forest) with a good second half performance so there’s a bit of frustration with the players but we see positives and we need to try and turn those in to points starting on Saturday.

“We’ve watched a lot of games in this league over the close season and you’ve got to be able to adapt to different teams and different times of the year so we’ve tried to assemble a squad that can deal with those eventualities.”

Does Strachan therefore expect Crawley, who won on the opening day of the season, to “park the bus?”

“They might well - a lot of teams might. If you’re watching the Accrington game then they might want to counter-attack us but that’s something we’ve worked in on training and are aware of,” continued Strachan.

“They’ve got pace in forward areas, the front four are a threat and we have to be aware of that. They’ve had a sending off and a couple of injuries though so we’ll do our homework. They had a good start, deserved their win over Wycombe (W1-0) and were competitive against Wolves (L2-1) too but as usual we want to impose our game on them too.

“The biggest challenge we have is swinging round momentum of winning games and winning regularly and we think the players that we’ve brought in to the squad are strong enough to turn round that momentum.”
Strachan finished on some positives going in to the weekend and, after revealing that Mathieu Baudry is on the comeback trail, reserved praise for young striker Liam Mandeville.

“There’s no more bad news, Mathieu Baudry is out of his boot and we need to calm him down a bit as he’s champing at the bit to get training. We’re trying to build up Paul Keegan’s base fitness before we reintegrate him to the squad while Craig Alcock is still in rehab,” he said.

“Mandeville has been really good, he’s been good in pre-season and the two times he’s come on he’s made a real difference almost that he looked and felt like he belonged out there. If I was being hyper-critical there was a couple of times he came on last season and blended in but he’s come on this season and made one and scored one so he’s done well.

“We want to make this a difficult place to come. We want the players to enjoy playing here and make it a spectacle for the fans coming here. It’s quite obvious that we need to be good at home and get points on the board and get underway really.”

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