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'We keep believing' - McSheffrey looks ahead to Bolton test

14 April 2022

Gary McSheffrey insists the only focus for Rovers is attempting to beat Bolton Wanderers after reigniting their survival hopes last weekend.

Last weekend’s victory over Crewe Alexandra got Rovers off to a strong start in McSheffrey’s quest to win the final five games of the campaign.

And the Rovers boss says his squad continue to believe but are not looking beyond Friday’s clash with the Trotters.

McSheffrey on his current selection process:

“Whether anyone gets chucked in or not is down to the players that are playing at the minute.

“For the last couple of games, we’ve had good performance levels and players have kept their shirts.

“If we stick with the same levels of performance, players are going to struggle to get into the team.

“That is what you want. You want consistency from the lads that are playing. Then you’ve got to manage the others.

“We were chopping and changing too much due to the lack of consistency in performance level.

“If I can keep the same team for the rest of the season, I’d be delighted.”

On rebuilding momentum:

“I think there was definite progress being made but a disappointing March killed it. It really made us assess things.

“With the last couple of games we’ve gained a bit of momentum with performances.

“We got a result at the weekend, so we just want consistency out of the players.

“March was a really disappointing month. We’d got some great results over the previous six weeks or so, in a real difficult games programme.

“Then in March where we felt we could pick up some results, we played probably two good halves of football in the month.

“It was really disappointing but that’s gone and all we can focus on is the positives of the last couple of games.

“Hopefully we can carry that into the last few games of the season.”

On the size of the task ahead:

“Like I’ve said previously, I feel we need to win all the remaining games.

“We’ve ticked off the first one and now all the focus is on the next one.

“Let’s try to win Friday and have a good Easter weekend.

“It’s possible. Until it’s mathematically impossible, we keep believing.”

On the test Bolton will provide:

“I think that at full strength they’re one of the best footballing teams in the division.

“They pass it around really well, play some attractive, risky football.

“Evo [Ian Evatt] has had a couple of years there, implementing what he wants to do and he’s got some really good players.

“He’s got some energy up the pitch, some quality up the pitch that can score goals.

“He’s had a couple of injuries that have probably shaken his team up a bit, real fixtures in the team that really get them ticking and lead them. That’s a big loss for them.

“How he lines up, we’ll see. He’s changed the shape a couple of times but they’re good players and they can all deal with the football and we have to respect that.

“What I do know is, having grown up with Evo in Coventry as a kid, he’ll want to come here and do a job on me. Bolton won’t be on the beach, that’s for sure.”

On building on last weekend’s win over Crewe:

“I think we’ll need to be a bit better in our end product, our decision-making, our final ball.

“There will be opportunities to catch Bolton on the counter. They’re an expansive team and commit men forward so there are spaces to punish them.”

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