‘Streetwise’ - Bristol Rovers boss on Wycombe defeat as refereeing standards questioned

Bristol Rovers lost their second game in as many weeks as Wycombe beat Joey Barton’s side 2-1 at the Memorial Ground in League One.
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Joey Barton believes Bristol Rovers must be more ‘streetwise’ in order for his side to turn around their tough start to their League One campaign.

The Gas lost 2-1 at home to Wycombe Wanderers, with former Bristol City defender Joe Low and ex-Premier League midfielder Garath McCleary scoring the goals for the visitors.

There was positive news for Rovers fans however, as Chelsea loanee Harvey Vale grabbed his first goal for the club, with a smart finish into the bottom corner.

Barton had this to say post-match: “We just missed that little bit of nouse that's required to be a really good team at this level... We've got to be a little bit more streetwise.”

The manager was unimpressed with the standard of officiating in the game.

He said: “We didn't get much out of that referee, we never tend to when he comes here, I’d quite happily never see him again. I don't think he’s a fantastic referee for us.

“He needs to get fitter, these are fit boys at this level and if the directives are coming from the EFL to drive more ball in play time, and unfortunately the referees and the assistant at this level are going to have to get down and do a bit of work to keep up with the physicality.”

Luckily for Rovers fans, the Gas have two more back-to-back home games as Lincoln City travel to the Mem next Saturday.

Barton went onto say: “The new structures have knocked out the sprinkler system, as Murphy’s law would have it. As soon as I heard about it before the game, I was thinking I’m praying for rain.

“It’s actually a fantastic surface, I feel sorry for the groundsmen, they’ve really prepared us a great surface, but an electrical component has gone and they couldn’t replace it in time for kick-off, that really suited a 5-4-1 low block.”