By Simon ‘Sprout` Phillips
Well they say a week is a long time in politics, well a week has certainly been a long time at BRFC. After the dismal showing against Port Vale, the team bounced back with a win against a struggling Dagenham & Redbridge side. By all accounts the Daggers weren`t very good, but you can only beat what is in front of you and Rovers did so.
It was certainly a welcome win and still keeps us hovering five points off the play-offs. Despite my downbeat thoughts last week, we are in an okay position as I have said for a while and hopefully we can kick on and put that run together as we enter the second half of the season and make a concerted push for the play-off places. I still have reservations about the manager, and they mainly centre on his, shall we say outspoken nature and the way he seems to rub people up the wrong way. Apparently after the Dagenham game, Mr Buckle came out in his post match interview and said that his remit was tenth. Now I would probably take tenth if I was seeing how we were progressing and could see signs that we had something to build on in the following season, but was there a need to come out and say this. Once again this sort of comment annoys people. I would obviously expect that the club wants to aim for the play-off at least and the only reason Paul Buckle came out and said this in my mind was that he was on the defensive after recent criticism towards him I doubt this comment would go down with the board as it hardly encourages people to come to Rovers if they think that is all we are aiming for (rightly or wrongly) and all Paul Buckle has achieved is courted more criticism of him.
This week has also seen the Stuart Campbell saga, gather pace and then abruptly end. Now whether you supported Stuart Campbell or Paul Buckle in the matter, neither have come out of this very well and neither has our Chairman Mr Higgs. After it had been reported that ‘Cams` name had been circulated and Campbell had said he didn`t want to leave the club, both Messrs Buckle and Campbell should have been called in and the situation brought back in doors and discussed. Instead we got a drawn out affair with both parties giving their differing views on what had/had not occurred and this public disagreement reflected badly on the club and judging by the various for a caused much disagreement in the fan base.
Nick Higgs came out with a statement backing his manager (Which you guess he`d have to) and whilst some parts were okay, he himself nearly caused more hassle by revealing certain discussions. Apparently Stuart Campbell was going to appear on the Radio Bristol breakfast show the following morning, but this never happened, when this rather annoying tit for tat came to an end after all three parties came to an agreement on the way forward. If only this had been done in the first place hey?
Who knows what has been ‘agreed` between Stuart Campbell and the club, but at least it is back behind closed doors where it should remain. It will be interesting to see where Campbell fits in now and what his relationship with the manager will be.
We move on and take a trek to face Accrington Stanley. On paper this looks a good game for us to record back to back wins, but you know the cliché and judging by our own inconsistency and the division in general, no result would surprise me. Adam Virgo seems set to miss the rest of the season, so a defender (which was needed anyway) is even more vital to strengthen are sieve like defence. We are unlikely to get one in before Saturday I Imagine (no doubt one will turn up now I`ve wrote that) and the manager has said he needs to move someone out to bring someone in. Defence has been a problem all season and needs sorting and it still baffles me why we brought in Scott Rendell given our glaring deficiencies at the back.
I hope those who make the trip have a good one and hope the team gives us all something to smile about come 5pm on Saturday. Myself, well I will be supervising my girlfriend as she assembles my new bookcase, which I will be using to store um Doctor Who DVDs. I may even be so kind as to let her sort them out in Chronological order.
I hope you all have a good weekend and Up The Gas!
Simon ‘Sprout` Phillips