‘Interesting’ - What Charlton’s former Bristol City boss said about Bristol Rovers

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Dean Holden brings his Charlton side to his former home Bristol to face Bristol Rovers at the Memorial Stadium.

Charlton Athletic manager Dean Holden has identified Aaron Collins as the obvious threat that Bristol Rovers will pose his side for their Good Friday clash.

The Gas welcome the Addicks to the Memorial Stadium for their first match in almost three weeks after a series of postponements. Joey Barton's side played a behind-closed-doors friendly with Aston Villa which they won but now play the first of two fixtures over Easter, in a month that has seven fixtures.

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Holden returns to Bristol, having been assistant manager under Lee Johnson and then head coach, for several years before being sacked in February 2021 and replaced by Nigel Pearson. He succeeded former Rovers boss Ben Garner in December, and has them currently in 12th.

“You always know what type of game you’re going to get from Joey Barton’s teams,” Holden said in his pre-match press conference to the South London Press.

“They have had an up and down season. They’ve had spells where they had a good run and then they have changed the team around a little bit, in terms of shape.

“They haven’t played for three weeks, I think that’s interesting. They had the international break and then they didn’t play at the weekend because of the Papa John’s it will be interesting to see how they’ve managed that time away."

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“For us, we know where their strengths are. The standout player for them – Collins, he’s had a really good season in terms of his numbers, goals and chances created."

Charlton won 6-0 against Shrewsbury in their previous match, and have not tasted defeat in over a month. They're unbeaten in their last five matches, with wins also against Cambridge United and Morecambe, as well as draws with promotion-chasing Wycombe Wanderers and relegation-threatened Accrington Stanley.

Rovers meanwhile have not played in 20 days and enter the match having suffered defeat in their last two matches. They've picked up eight points from the last 30 on offer, with both wins coming on their travels. Rovers have one of the longest winless runs at home, with no win in six in front of their own supporters.

“It will be a tough game," Holden added. I know what Joey Barton and his staff are all about. I know them really well. You can always expect a tough game, full of commitment, but we’re in a good moment.

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"There will be no question whatsoever of getting above our station – purely because of where we are in the league ourselves – we’ve still got points to play for and a position in the table we want to try and get to."

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