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Plethora of positives pleases Byrne in Bristol Street Motors Trophy triumph

6 December 2023


Plethora of positives pleases Byrne in Bristol Street Motors Trophy triumph

6 December 2023

Cliff Byrne hailed a night of positives for Rovers as they secured their place in the last 16 of the Bristol Street Motors Trophy.

Rovers were given a tough examination in the first half by opponents Nottingham Forest U21 but a stunning strike from Luke Molyneux just before the break set them on their way.

Further goals from Kyle Hurst and Joe Ironside followed to secure a 3-0 win and a last 16 spot in the competition for the first time in nine years.

“There’s lots of positive thoughts on it,” assistant manager Byrne said. “The outcome of the game first and foremost because we wanted to progress into the next round. We managed to share the minutes around, three goals, clean sheet, young Will Flint coming in for his full home debut which was excellent for him and the work the Academy are doing.

“Equally for the rest of the group and the team, it’s been a very positive night.

“We spoke in the build-up about the importance of sharing the minutes around but it’s also important that you keep the players hungry.

“The players are training intensely hard on a day-to-day basis and the competition has been strong. The manager felt it was the right time to give certain players more minutes on the pitch and we’re really pleased to get that under their belts.”

Byrne felt a few half time tweaks made a big difference, with Rovers enjoying much more control of proceedings after the break.

“Although it was 3-0, Forest weren’t without their opportunities in the first half - a couple of strong opportunities on the transition and the movement of the front players,” he said.

“We drilled home to the lads that they are more than capable technically, and with the manager Warren Joyce, we knew he’d be very physically demanding of them and they showed that in their physicality and the way they wanted to compete.

“The manager changed a couple of things at half time with a couple of individuals and there were times in the first half when we gave the ball away cheaply.

“I also think the element of fitness in and the intensity of the way the game is played on a weekly basis compared to the group playing U21s football is difficult to replicate.

“I think we showed strength in depth in that as the game wore on, especially in the second half.”

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