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McSheffrey: We must deliver in both halves

12 October 2022

Gary McSheffrey insists Rovers must crack the code of performing both sides of the break after a difficult first half proved costly in the Papa John’s Trophy tie with Barnsley.

Rovers fell 4-0 down by half time as the visitors to the Eco-Power Stadium surged clear.

While a second half rally saw Rovers cut the deficit to 4-2 with a brace from George Miller, it was not enough to avoid defeat.

McSheffrey on how the game played out:

“I thought we started the game pretty well in terms of knocking the ball around but before you know it, we’re one down, two down, three down and four down.

“Barnsley were really clinical and sharp on the counterattack. They pressed well from the front and backed it up with the next unit.

“We continued to move the ball and pass it about without getting up the pitch too much.

“We got punished from two or three individual errors and they were ruthless with their finishing on the counter.

“They made good decisions, playing off limited touches. The difference was that they were really clinical.”

On the response in the second half:

“At half time we asked if we could win the second half. Can we keep a clean sheet, which we got along with the two goals. We made a couple of changes.

“Initially we were going to put George Miller up alongside Reo Griffiths but Reo got a tight groin so had to come off.

“We just wanted a response. We didn’t overplay too much and we put it in their half a bit and played off the seconds better.

“We got up the pitch and created chances more. We hit the crossbar and their keeper has made a couple of good saves.

“There were positives to take from the second half.

“We need to start stringing two halves of football together like we’ve been performing in the second half in the last few games.”

On returns for Tom Anderson, Jon Taylor and George Miller

“An hour each is good for Tom and Tayls to come through without a recurrence of injury.

“It’s great for George to get a couple of goals after missing a couple of games with an injury.

“Kyle Hurst came on and was lively so that’s another positive.”

On George Miller’s goalscoring record:

“His record is really good, excellent. It’s great that he got the two goals in one half because it keeps his confidence high and he goes into a league game at the weekend high on confidence and scoring goals.”

On the wait for other results determining whether Rovers will progress:

“It’s all you can do. You fully expect for Lincoln to beat Newcastle U21s but we wait and see what happens.”

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