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Wellens takes positives from Bradford City loss

18 July 2021

Richie Wellens he would take the positives after a Rovers' side missing a number of key first-team players lost out to a well-organised Bradford City.

Tom Anderson got his first minutes after a knock ruled him out of the friendly against Rossington Main a week earlier, while Tommy Rowe, Ben Close, Ed Williams and Louis Jones also played a part first half with the rest of the team made up of trialists. The rest of Rovers youngsters - AJ Greaves, Branden Horton, Lirak Hasani, Liam Ravenhill and Ben Bottomley - were involved second half.

“The positives we can take out of the game is that Tom Anderson got the first 45 minutes under his belt, Ben Close got more time, and Tommy Rowe was the best player on the pitch,” Wellens said.

“It was difficult because we had ten bodies turn up to the training ground Friday to meet everyone for the first time and then went into the game on Saturday.

“Throughout the game our front three weren't doing enough – we’d get into ok positions but we kept coming back.

 “We’ve got good forwards: Omar Bogle, Fejiri Okenabirhie, Jordy Hiwula, Jon Taylor … none of them were available today.”

The majority of Rovers' squad will return to training later this week and will be involved against Newcastle United on July 23, while Tuesday’s match at Wakefield will provide bigger opportunities for the young players.

“Ravenhill, Hasani, and Greaves will play a significant part on Tuesday because they all deserve a chance,” Wellens added.

“The majority of the squad will be back after Tuesday. We’ll get a training session into them and then we introduce them against Newcastle. It’s not ideal because we’re starting from scratch again so you’d want easier opposition to not test them as much.

“We’ve sent them some things to do at home, and we’ve done sessions on Zoom but it’s hard because you don’t play football over Zoom.”

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