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Byrne: New boys settling in well

14 July 2018

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Rovers assistant Cliff Byrne feels new signings Ali Crawford and Mallik Wilks have quickly settled into the club.

The pair got their first outings in Saturday’s 2-0 behind-closed-doors win over Leeds United’s U23 side at Cantley Park.

Byrne said: “They’ve settled in well and made a really good impression, they’ve fitted in well with the group.

“They’ve shown plenty of the glimpses of the quality we know they’ve got, which is why we brought them into the club. They both did well and we’re confident they can go on to make a real mark for the club this season.”

Goals from Alfie May and Andy Butler sealed the win over Leeds, with the first-team then playing a 30-minute match against Rovers’ U18s - who had played Barnsley’s youngsters earlier in the day - to ensure everyone got a full 60 minutes under their belts.

Byrne added: “The idea was to get 60 minutes into the lads, which we achieved in hot conditions, and the lads will reap the rewards for that in the coming week.

“It’s about building up to the players being ready for 90 minutes. We didn’t pick up any injuries, so we’re really pleased with the day.

“The fitness will always be the main focus during pre-season, but we can now spend more time fine-tuning the tactical side of things ahead of next Friday’s step-up against Birmingham City.”

Rovers kick-off their Sky Bet League One campaign at Southend United on Saturday August 4, before their first home outing against Wycombe Wanderers the following Saturday.

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