Bristol Rovers new boy reflects on whirlwind week after almost signing for Crystal Palace

Rovers new boy opens up on how close he was to signing for Crystal Palace and his aims after moving to Bristol Rovers

<p>Bristol Rovers ended their month long wait to bring in a new defender. (Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images)</p>

Bristol Rovers ended their month long wait to bring in a new defender. (Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images)

Lewis Gordon has had quite the week from being on the cusp of signing for Premier League outfit Crystal Palace to making two appearances for Bristol Rovers.

It was straight to action for Rovers’ latest signing as the left back came in on trial on Thursday, signed the contract on Friday and made his debut on Saturday.

The 21-year-old made one appearance for Brentford’s first team in a FA Cup victory over Middlesborough in January 2021 and now labels the Gas as where he is looking to now kick on with first team football.

Gordon was given that chance mere hours after signing, as Joey Barton named him in his starting eleven in the 4-0 demolition of Burton Albion as Bristol Rovers recorded their first victory of the season.

He also featured in Tuesday’s 1-0 defeat to Crawley in the Carabao Cup, making two appearances from just a week since he arrived at the Quarters.

Now, just under a week after signing for the club he faces his home debut at the Memorial Stadium and it is something he is looking forward to.

“I’ve heard a lot of good stories about the fans. All the away fans that were at the Burton game were great. It will be great to see them at the stadium for the first time.

“I have been waiting for this, I feel with the away support, they bring it’s only going to be better at home. They really get behind us so hopefully we can put a good performance for them.”

It was revealed after the Burton game that Gordon was very close to joining Premier League Crystal Palace, but opted for the blue and white quarters instead.

He had been involved more at the South London club, going through a number of training sessions and playing in pre-season games, something he wasn’t afforded during his trial period at the Mem.

And whilst there was only one left-back in their team, the decision to make Trevor Clarke available for transfer meant there was a clear pathway to become a fist-team player at Rovers.

He said: “I was at Palace for a couple of weeks, I was getting to the final stages of it and that is when Bristol Rovers came in. It was kind of a them or them on who I was going to choose to sign for.

“At the moment they only have one left-back in the building so maybe there could have been a pathway for me. I wanted it to be in my own hands so I came to Bristol, wanted to show what I could do and develop my career with the boys.

“When Bristol Rovers said they were interested, I felt it was a good place for me to really start my career off in a good way and getting some professional games.

“I’ve been in the system for quite a long time, I’m 21 and I felt it was time to really kick on in first-team football.

“I saw what he did at Fleetwood and what the boys did last year. I know about his man management and hopefully he can further my career.”

It was an extremely short turnaround between trialling for the club and making his debut. He had been close to penning terms at Selhurst Park but arrived at the Quarters last Thursday and by Friday he was signed.

A day later he made his Football League debut and just a week on from arriving in Bristol, he already has two senior appearances under his belt.

Gordon has admitted the differences now at first team level that he experienced from when he was playing at age-grade level, putting praise on to the coaching staff.

“I came in on the Thursday, I trained well with Joey and the boys were happy with me,” he said. “I got it all signed off on the Friday, played on the Saturday. It was a quick process but I felt I had to come in and show what I could do for them to trust me

“It’s good. I feel it’s a group of staff that I really need to push me on. They will tell me when I am wrong and when I am right, none of this patting me on the shoulder.

“They are good with their man management and they’ll speak with me through things, I have enjoyed it so far.

“Every weekend we are playing for something. It’s not like an Under-23’s game where there is nothing really on the line.”

As to his ambitions for the campaign, the first target will be to preserve their league status having been the relative newcomers to the division.

He said: “I feel we can really push on this season, show what we can do, show that we belong here and maybe even fight for promotion, so we will see.

“We have a light squad at the moment but we will bring in some good players that will fit the model. The players we have here right now are more than capable of achieving a good season this year.