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McSheffrey proud of players

31 July 2022

Gary McSheffrey was proud of his players for their display in a challenging game against Bradford City.

The game presented a juggling act from the start with Tommy Rowe waking up with a neck spasm, Liam Ravenhill having to be substituted early on into the game, and followed by a red card for Lee Tomlin towards the end of the first-half.

Despite those obstacles, McSheffrey was delighted with the response from his players to adapt to the occasion.

He said: “From the moment we went down to 10 men, I would have taken a 0-0, and I make no apologies for that.

“The lads dug-in well from start to finish.

“I am proud of the boys because Bradford threw everything they could at us to win.

“We stood strong and that’s the team I’ve got now; a bunch of men who are structured and can deal with problems on their own. That is a huge change in mentality.

“With the players we had missing, we knew it was going to be more of a back-to-the-wall game. Hence why we had Tom Anderson, Adam Long and Bobby Faulkner on the bench, because we knew we were going to have to stand up to them; head things, and block things.”

Kyle Knoyle and James Maxwell completed their first full game of the season, while Tom Anderson featured for the first time after recovering from an injury sustained last season. 

He added: “The new lads who played have good heads on their shoulders. They have taken on new information well in a short space of time and have game intelligence.

“Kyle Hurst was disciplined and sacrificed attacking for the team. It’s not something he will be used to, and won’t be something he will be doing every game.

"To say they were playing their first 90 minutes, Kyle Knoyle and James Maxwell, did excellent.

“We got Tom back out there too to nullify Andy Cook and we went man-for-man on set plays which worked.

“Jonny was superb. He took a lot of crosses – probably the most he ever has done in a game – and he slowed the match down for us.”

The Rovers boss believes the result would not have been possible without the backing from supporters.

He added: “The fans were brilliant. I knew they were going to back us in their numbers today and their support drove the players.

“They were the fans that you could hear during the warm-up.

“The fans understood the performance, the substitutions, the decisions and rightly so they will be proud of the players as they stood up to the challenge and worked their socks off.”


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