Bristol Rovers’ immediate to do list in the aftermath of dramatic automatic promotion

There’s some work to be done over the coming weeks but celebrations take priority for the next few days

Bristol Rovers celebrated an unlikely promotion as they beat Scunthorpe United 7-0 to secure an immediate return back to League One.

The Gas went up on goals scored after matching Northampton’s five goal swing, despite a 3-1 win for the Cobblers.

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Antony Evans and Aaron Collins both found the back of the net twice, whilst Connor Taylor and Elliot Anderson were also on target.

Joey Barton, his backroom staff and his players can now have a deserved rest until they are back in for pre-season in just over a month’s time.

But despite the season being over, there is still some work to do with the plans beginning for next season, now.

Firstly… enjoy it!

Celebrate as much as you can and enjoy in what was an unlikely promotion. Fans hadn’t been able to attend matches for two years so to be one of the clubs that gets a promotion in the first season they are back is delightful.

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Barton has continuously put praise onto the supporters for how they’ve supported the club through thick and thin, even when they doubted him at the start of the season.

Players were happy to sign autographs and pose for photos with young fans which shows that the relationship between the first-team squad and supporters has never been greater.

There are plans by the club to host another celebration in the not too distant future with something more official after the madness of an unexpected promotion.

Give Evans a blank contract

Signing Antony Evans to a new deal is a must given the influence he had on the game and on the season.

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The 27-year-old finished the season with 12 assists and 10 goals, which ranks him as third in the assists charts, second behind Mitchell Pinnock and League Two Player of the Year, Kane Wilson.

There was a small gamble to be taken on Evans when he arrived at the club as he had returned from a spell with German club Paderborn which unsettled him, thus his bit part loan move to Crewe Alexandra.

When times were tough for Rovers, Evans was the shining light in those dark times and was the obvious talisman. As things improved, his role perhaps may have lessened and he also had to endure some spells out with injury.

Overall though, his signing is one that has tremendously paid off and he won’t be short of any suitors.

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There will be a few days of celebration but the CEO will still be at the training ground and agents will still be about, so a new deal for Evans is the priority right now.

Rovers do have a wage structure in place but promotion allows the purstings to be opened a little bit and with James Belshaw earning a new deal, there is no reason why there can’t be an offer that can suit Evans.

The Liverpudlian has showcased his worth and has found a good fit at the Mem, so hopefully positive talks can turn into a new deal.

Put a good word in to Newcastle United

Elliot Anderson is going to have a pick of Championship clubs to choose from next season if he is loaned out by Newcastle United.

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Promotion to League One though has given Rovers the slightest of chances of holding on to him if the Magpies are keen for continuity.

There is acceptance that Anderson won’t be seen in the quarters again but he leaves with him a legacy on what will hopefully be a long and successful career for the 19-year-old.

Anderson applied himself like any loanee should and that was with an open mind, no bad attitude and the ability to adapt in a higher pressure situation.

He delivered many match-winning moments, both at the Mem and on the road, so those moments with him may put the Gas in good stead to retain him.

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If Newcastle believe his development is in the Championship then there can be no qualms about it given his obvious ability.

What is does do however is put Rovers in a good position to take the next young starlet on the conveyor belt of talent at St James Park with Barton and Rovers proving they are the best of fits for young players.

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