‘Dangerous’ - Joey Barton delivers verdict on Bristol Rovers v Cheltenham Town
Bristol Rovers off to winning ways in EFL Trophy group stage v fellow League One outfit Cheltenham Town.
James Gibbons, Antony Evans and Aaron Collins found themselves on the scoresheet for the hosts, as well as second-half own goal by Robert Street.
A Gibbons own goal early in the second half was the only downer in what otherwise was a dominate display from the Gas, which saw them top their group, with Newport County and West Ham’s academy still yet to play.
The Rovers gaffer was full of praise for his teams performance after the final whistle.
“Tonight was another step in the right direction in terms of work that’s been put in on the training ground by the lads in terms of certain movement patterns and running patterns.
“We are a working progress, from the Cambridge game we weren’t quite at the level we wanted to be, but there was lots of positives barring the result. The same against Wycombe although we lost both of those games.
“Tonight we saw an improvement and the lads got the just rewards.”
This evening’s victory is only Rovers’ second at home since New Year’s Day when they also beat tonights opponents.
With the Gas favourites to top their group, it will be a great chance for Barton to introduce some younger talent into the fold as he did this evening with excellent displays from loanee duo Harvey Vale and Lamare Bogarde.
With three first-half goals, the game seemed all over by half-time, but Barton was impressed by his side’s willingness to carry on.
“It’s always tough when you are 3-0 up and the team is still sitting in.
“I can understand it from Cheltenham’s perspective, they know if they come out and press us , we are a dangerous opponent so I get the fact that they’ve got to play their strategy and tactics.
“I thought we were excellent and the only blip is the fact that we conceded a goal, apart from that I thought the lads absolutely superb.”
Saturday’s League One clash against Reading has been postponed due to international call-ups, meaning Barton has an extra week on the training ground with his players, before they go again next weekend away at Shrewsbury Town.