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Gribble: "pre-season has been positive"

8 August 2022


Gribble: "pre-season has been positive"

8 August 2022

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Rovers U18s manager Chad Gribble thinks his first pre-season with the U18s has been positive.

The U18s concluded their pre-season preparation with a narrow defeat at Gainsborough Trinity. An own goal in the opening quarter of an hour was the only thing that separated the hosts from the visitors but it was enough to see Rovers record only their second loss of the summer.

Despite Gribble’s side bringing pre-season to a close with a defeat, Rovers’ youth team manager felt the game provided an invaluable opportunity and was impressed with how his team looked to combat the challenges they found in front of them.

He said: “Gainsborough was a brilliant test for us playing against a side with some good senior players and experience and some that have played at a very high level of football.

“It’s given us the toughest challenge of our pre-season and I think we started the game in a really good fashion but the opponent found how to get control after the first 10 minutes and gave us a pretty tough 20 minutes after that.

“We tweaked one or two things while in game and the players responded really well to that and I thought we were well structured and organised and looked hard to beat.

“We probably did need to do a bit better when we regained the ball to get some control but all in all, it’s quite pleasing to come and play with such a young side and be in the game right up to the final whistle.”

The defeat on the road saw Rovers end their preparations for the EFL Youth Alliance season with four wins from eight matches but Gribble insisted preseason was about more than victories.

He added: “It’s been about more than just results, some of the positive results have been brilliant and it shows that some of the things we’ve been working on are coming off.

“But more importantly it’s been about fitness and I thought we looked fit tonight, it’s about getting everyone through preseason so that we’ve got a full squad of players to select from when we get to matchday one and we’ve managed to do that successfully.

“We’ve managed to come through unscathed again and it’s also been about trying to build an identity, a style play and facing as many different challenges as you can and I think tonight’s capped that off brilliantly.

“We spent large parts of the game without the ball and had to be hard to beat, resolute, tough and I thought we showed that in spells, so we’ve faced everything and we’ve come through the summer fit.

“We have got some good results along the way and suffered a couple of losses but actually, you learn more when you lose than when you win so all in all, as staff we’re really pleased with how preseason’s gone.

“The true test is matchday one and that’s when you’ll really know where you’re at when you play that league opener.”

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