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Rovers 'must lick their wounds quickly' says McSheffrey

6 March 2022

Gary McSheffrey felt Rovers were not nearly sharp enough in their play as they fell to defeat at Cheltenham Town.

An Alfie May double plus headers from Ben Williams and Mattie Pollock saw the hosts run out 4-0 winners in the Sky Bet League One clash with Rovers having Adam Clayton sent off after picking up two yellow cards.

McSheffrey was unhappy with the performance of his side but felt the sending off was harsh.

On where things went wrong:

“We started the game sloppily and they got onto every loose ball.

“Our sharpness wasn’t at it and you could sense that they were really up for it.

“We gave away far too many free kicks but I think it was because we weren’t sharp enough and getting close to them.

“If you keep giving away free kicks eventually they’re going to punish you and Alfie [May] has scored a good goal.

“We’ve lost 4-0 and Cheltenham have probably played a lot better than that and not got as good a result.

“The damage was done in the first half when we were poor and it was our own individual errors and poor decision making.

“I went with a few technical players over physicality and it probably wasn’t the game for that.”

On the build-up:

“It’s probably the best week’s preparation that we’ve had since I’ve been in charge.

“The lads felt good. Everyone knew their roles and responsibilities.

“But we got out on the pitch and didn’t play well enough.

“We have to lick our wounds, go through it, assess it and reflect on where we need to be better as we focus on the next game.”

On Adam Clayton’s sending off:

“I thought it was soft and cheap.

“I don’t think it was a yellow card for the first one. Adam has made a good strong tackle and three or four of their players have got in his face. It was two honest lads going in for a tackle and they’ve both got booked for their reactions and I thought it was a strange yellow, particularly with us getting the free kick.

“The second one - he’s got up for a header but his arm is up there and in that situation you’re giving the referee a decision to make.

“I didn’t see any movement in his arm to suggest he tried to get an arm in the lad’s face.

“Once we went down to ten men it was an uphill battle and we just had to try to get back into the game in some way, but it wasn’t to be.

On the picture at the foot of Sky Bet League One:

“We’ve got a bit lucky with some of the other scores and we’ve got to put all our attention into Gillingham now.

“We’ve got some big games - some big winnable games in my eyes.

“They’re the ones we need to really look after and focus on the next one against Gillingham.”


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