Bristol Rovers might have to dramatically change their summer transfer plans

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The Gas boss has pleaded with the Bristol Rovers board - otherwise the summer could look very different

Joey Barton says that Bristol Rovers’ summer transfer plans could be affected if the Memorial Stadium pitch does not reach his standards.

The Gas boss went as far as saying that they could consider appointing an alternative-minded coach, who would play a different brand of football from how he wants to play. His thoughts stem after he believed that the surface at the Mem played a part in their defeat to Wycombe Wanderers on Tuesday night.

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Aston Villa loanee Lamare Bogarde was caught in possession by Tjay De Barr, and that allowed the midfielder to play in Brandon Hanlan who struck against his former club. Bogarde will have been used to the best facilities on offer at his parent club, but his loan manager believes that he was hamstrung by the pitch on Tuesday night.

The 40-year-old has held discussions with CEO Tom Gorringe, as well as Wael al-Qadi about work to improve the pitch, otherwise, plans for recruitment could go in a different direction. Rovers are several wins off of confirming their place in League One next season, and the former Manchester City midfielder will want to get the ball rolling for new signings.

"I’ve spoken to Tom and the owner about the pitch," said Barton in the aftermath of the defeat to Wycombe Wanderers. I’ve said if that pitch doesn’t get fixed I’m gonna have to recruit completely differently than I want to do.

"It’s to the point where I’m like it might be better bringing another coach in. Somebody who doesn’t need grass and go from back to front relatively quickly. If the pitch doesn’t get resolved, you’ve seen it tonight. We’ve played a square pass, it’s hit a bobble and it’s put the opposition through one-on-one. "I know it does happen from time to time and I want to build a team that controls the ball.

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"Last year in League Two we had a better pitch than what we’ve got in League One this year. They tell me there are problems with the drainage and stuff has collapsed.

"We’ve got an owner that spends a lot of money on the facilities, and we’ve got lots of grounds people yet our training pitches are better than our match day pitch. It’s not acceptable to the point where I might have to change our recruitment in the style of football we play because of the surface we play on."

Ironically, Rovers’ match with Wycombe was being played in March after the original date was meant to be in January, but a frozen pitch meant that it had to be rearranged. It was a rare occasion in which Rovers could not have their game go ahead, with a reasonably good record for games being staged, despite not having the luxury of undersoil heating.

Most of Barton’s signings have been young players from Premier League and Championship clubs, who have an emphasis on being in possession of the ball, and a focus on a passing game. Rovers in most matches at home tend to out-pass their opponent, rather than attempting long balls to open up the opponent.

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Barton’s plans for the summer could change considerably however, and whilst he has the experience of once playing for a direct team in Burnley under Sean Dyche, the former Newcastle United star wants to play a different style of football.

He said: "There is no point in us playing 23 games and building a team to control the ball when in the 23 games on a surface we control, is not conducive to the way we want to play. Is the pitch the reason we got beat tonight? No absolutely not. Is it a mitigating circumstance in the first goal? You have to look at that bobble and you have to think it is. You’ve watched Lamare in recent weeks he rarely gives it away, the ball hits a bobble, hits his other foot, and puts Hanlan in for the first goal.

"We need to get to the bottom of it because if we want to get promoted out of the division, my teams usually have the ball. Build through and I can coach a different way, I played a different way so it’s not a problem for me. I don’t want to do it because I believe I can play a different way.

"As you’ve seen in recent weeks, it’s a lot easier to strip us back, go route one and I’ll have to recruit completely differently in terms of personnel and we’ll be in the market for kind of working type players who can handle the physicality."

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