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McSheffrey urges players to harness Crewe positivity

10 April 2022

Gary McSheffrey has challenged his Rovers players to harness the positivity of their win over Crewe Alexandra and accelerate their push for survival.

Rovers returned to winning ways with a 2-0 triumph over relegated Alex, courtesy of goals from Tommy Rowe and Josh Martin.

McSheffrey - who believes Rovers need to win all their remaining matches - is confident his players will have taken a good deal of confidence from Saturday’s win.

McSheffrey on how the game played out:

“I think we started well and deservedly went ahead.

“We could have been ahead by two or three in the first half but we got a bit sloppy towards the end of the half with too many touches, being loose on the ball and giving Crewe some momentum.

“They should have gone in all square. They missed a good chance, hit the post and we rode our luck a little bit.

“I said to the boys at half time that we needed to be better and we were letting them off the hook.

“I think they felt it was enough to be one up but it wasn’t.

“We started well again, scored at a really good time and after that you want to be going on to score three or four but we let them back into it a bit again.

“We needed to manage the game a bit better and dominate the ball.

“That’s nit-picking. The lads haven’t been in that position for a while, and you can understand why the nerves crept in during such a big game.

“I’m delighted with the win. The workrate was good.

“The other side of the game from the likes of [Adam] Clayton, [John] Bostock and [Matt] Smith was superb. They did the ugly things well and put out a lot of fires.

“Ro-Shaun Williams saved us a couple of times on counterattacks by reading the pass and making good interceptions.”

On the boost of a win:

“The feeling is great.

“The next win is always the hardest and we’ve got it.

“The challenge to the players now is can we keep it going? Can we go back-to-back?

“We’ve not gone back-to-back all season which is not ideal.

“You look at the likes of Morecambe last week going back-to-back and it gets them out of it for a week.

‘We know we’ve got good opposition coming here on Friday and then we go to Shrewsbury on the Monday.

“It’s got to give them confidence, belief. It’s a good clean sheet and a win.

“It’s just something to hold onto.”

On building for Bolton:

“They’ll have a day off on Sunday. I told them to enjoy their weekend and their Saturday evening because they’ve not done so for a while.

“We’re back in Monday, good to go, and we’ll prep Wednesday and Thursday for Bolton.”

On the race for survival:

“I said to the lads that it was all about their performance.

“We played well at Wycombe but didn’t have the cutting edge to score.

“We respect Crewe but we feel we’re a better team than them so it was all about our performance and being brave, getting on the ball and scoring goals.

“That’s got to be the same for the remaining games. We respect the opposition and do our homework on them but it’s all about our performance level.

“If we could go back-to-back it would give the boys so much confidence and momentum.

“You just never know. We’re still in there fighting.

“The results went our way again. It’s just disappointing that we’ve not capitalised on that previously.

“We’re still in a position where we can keep trying to close the gap.”

On the performances of his experienced players:

“I thought on the ball both Bostock and Clayton are better than what they showed in this one.

“But they snuffed out a lot of danger, did the dirty work and the hard yards. Good interceptions, good tackling, good fouls when they needed to.

“Their experience shone through.

“We know we’ve had some really top performances this year in central midfield from our younger players. But it gives them a bit of confidence that they’ve got a structure behind them.

“It freed Matt Smith up to go and press high, and that caused danger because we know Crewe like to play out.”


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