Joey Barton’s reaction as flat Bristol Rovers succumb to Accrington defeat
Rovers remained in the relegation zone after suffering another loss - this time to Accrington Stanley
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Joe Pritchard peeled away from a corner-kick to head in and score in the 54th minute to inflict a fifth defeat in seven League One matches.
The Gas remain 21st in the standings but the teams above them have the luxury of a game-in-hand which brings them into a relegation battle.
Burton Albion, Forest Green and Morecambe all tasted defeat today but another defeat resulted in boos around the home ground for the first time this season.
“Tough,” Barton responded when asked of his assessment of the game. “I don’t think we were anywhere as as productive as what we were last week.
“The scoreline represents what the game was. It was an evenly thought game and it was going to be the first team that got the first goal.
“I don’t think we have done enough to deserve to win a game in our stadium. There wasn’t much between the two sides. Maybe a bit of gamesmanship, nouse and intelligence for the goal. They take it quick and we switch off.”
Barton made three changes to his team with one enforced because of the absence of Luca Hoole, who is away on international duty.
Alfie Kilgour was recalled to the side and played alongside the returning Bobby Thomas, making them the two recognised centre halves at the club.
Lewis Gordon, who is still adapting to the jump of academy football to senior professional football was deployed as a left sided centre-back.
Things haven’t changed on the selection front howevr with more than six players missing through injury though progress is being made slowly.
“It’s frustrating at the minute,” Barton admitted. “We’re pining to get our best team out on the pitch and stop playing square pegs in round holes.
“Tough to take, we’re frustrated, we’re disappointed but we have got to be better.”
It was a fairly close fought match and both sides didn’t have many troubling efforts at goal. Rovers had 14 shots to Accrington’s 15 but out of the 29 shots, only seven of them were on target.
It was an off day for Rovers front line who failed to force Lukas Jensen in to any action. Despite only conceding a goal, there was some words for the defensive side of things too.
Barton said: “I don’t think we have tested them enough. We’re disappointed, we’ve got in a lot of good areas in wide positions.
“I also think we can be a lot better clearing our lines defensively. Stuff that I would consider basics.
“Players are scrapping away but at some point as a professional footballer, you have to do your job and do the business.
“Whether you’re confident or not isn’t really an option. You’ve got to do it no matter how you feel, at the moment we’re not firing on all cylinders. It’s my job to find that recipe to get us moving back in the right direction.”