By Simon Phillips
Something for the weekend
Hi and welcome to the latest something for the weekend, and it`s something that gets harder to write all the time; even more so when you see a tiny glimmer of hope, only for it to be dampened with the next result.
There were positives from the Plymouth game that gave a glimpse, a hint of a sign of how we might get out of our predicament and not least that we pulled points back on a fellow struggler. However the defeat to Gillingham was a reminder of the battle we have on our hands. What was most galling was after the cracking 3rd minute strike from Gillingham we gave a good account of ourselves in the first half but couldn`t capitalise on it. We didn`t create much again, but we did create one great chance (which we really should have buried in honesty) that hit the inside of the post and rolled along the goal line before being cleared. On another day that goes in, but when you are down at the bottom….
Second half, especially after the second goal went in, the game was dead and there was no way back. We could be playing now still and not have scored, and that is the big worry. At the moment we really have nothing up front and unless we can find someone from somewhere to stick the ball in the net, I truly fear we are doomed to go down as at the moment it`s hard to see where the goals are going to come from. Hopefully we can get someone in and get David Clarkson fit and then I will feel a tad more confident, but we need that sooner rather than later. We also suffered another injury during the last game and it appears Gary Kenneth will be out for 9 months. Whilst I don`t think he has played particularly well myself in recent weeks and wouldn`t start with him if I had a choice, we cannot afford to lose players as we need every player we have to help us.
Off the field we have had some slightly better news with the Sainsbury`s planning application being recommended for approval. In some ways it`s hard to think about the stadium or be upbeat about the future given our current situation, but it should be a great thing if Sainsbury`s get planning permission and then we can push ahead with building the UWE Stadium. Hopefully if Sainsbury`s at The Mem is given the green light it can act as a confidence boost and spur us on even more to maintain our league status. Even if the worst was to happen and we were relegated, we have been told that the stadium will be built regardless. If this was to happen and we were in the conference, the incentive is there for us to be back in League Two as a minimum when the new ground is available to move into.
Back to matters on the pitch and this weekend sees us travel to Fleetwood in search of three points. It doesn`t look like we have any new players in, in time for this game, but hopefully we can pull a performance out of the bag and do our survival chances a world of good. It seems depressing to think that we have to travel to Fleetwood who are on the up, whilst we are struggling and another team seemingly past us by, however they are an example right now of how a new ground and how to maximise its use could be a catalyst for Rovers future.
If you are travelling to the game tomorrow, safe journey and I hope you return with some points and some smiles and we are not feeling glum again come 5pm. Whatever you are up to this weekend have a good one and I will see you again soon. Up The Gas!
Simon ‘Sprout` Phillips