Ipswich boss message to Bristol Rovers, baby boom at Portsmouth, earlier kick-off plans for EFL

Clubs in the EFL are considering playing matches earlier to avoid using floodlights amidst the energy crisis affecting everyone.

Bristol Rovers return to League One action on Tuesday night as they face promotion hopefuls Ipswich Town.

The Gas’ match against MK Dons was postponed but the EFL have given the greenlight for football to return.

Rovers return against the side currently sitting top of the division with no defeat to their name in the league so far with 15 places and nine points separating the two teams.

Despite the lack of match action, there were still plenty of stories from around English football’s third tier.

Here is the latest from around League One with stories relating to Rovers and their opponents.

McKenna rejects Brighton talk

Ipswich, who are to host Bristol Rovers at Portman Road on Tuesday night, have seen their manager linked with a move to a Premier League club.

Kieran McKenna was listed as a potential candidate to succeed Graham Potter after he departed for Chelsea.

Asked last week following speculation with a move to Sussex, he reaffirmed his commitment to The Tractor Boys.

"I think I’ve said a few times that I wouldn’t have come to any League One football club,” he said at a fans forum.

“It’s my first opportunity, but I think I could and would have had opportunities at higher levels. But I wanted to come to a project with massive potential.

"My 100 per cent focus is on the short, medium and long-term future of the club. I plan to hopefully be a big part of bringing this club back to the level where it belongs.

That’s where my focus is completely at. The club has massive potential and I really want to be the manager to bring the club to that level."

Both clubs can 'unite'

McKenna says former Bristol Rovers striker Marcus Stewart is in his thoughts after it was revealed he had Motor Neurone Disease last week. Stewart played for Rovers and tomorrow's opponents Ipswich and has offered support to the 49-year-old.

Speaking to the East Anglian Daily Times, McKenna said: “Our thoughts are with him and I think both clubs will certainly like to show their support tomorrow night - I think both sets of fans can unite in that, and unite in getting behind Marcus.”

National anthem to be played before kick-off

‘God Save the King’ will be sounded around the football grounds before kick-off on Tuesday evening.

Plans to respect Queen Elizabeth include a minute’s silence before the match, as well as back armbands for players and coaching staff, whilst flags will be flown at half-mast.

Baby boom at Pompey

Ronan Curtis was set to miss out on Portsmouth’s match with Barnsley last Saturday after his partner had given birth to their son. Curtis, an important player for Pompey was afforded leave for the weekend, but following the postponement of all EFL fixtures, he didn’t miss a match. The Republic of Ireland man was the second player to have welcomed a new-born recently following Connor Ogilvie’s son being born last week.

Manager Danny Cowley spoke of the importance of family over football but said his return was a welcomed one.

He said to The News: ‘We were anticipating playing without Ronan at Barnsley, although there was a chance he might have been able to come and meet the team on the Saturday. ‘He’d had quite a disruptive week. He trained on Tuesday and then his partner had a caesarean on Thursday, so he didn’t train on Thursday and Friday.

Earlier kick-off-times

Ryan Sparks, CEO of League Two club Bradford City has said that games could kick off at 1pm on Saturdays during the winter months to avoid clubs having to turn their floodlights on.

Clubs lower down the food chain, more specifically in League One and Two are looking to save costs as energy bills continue to rise with no cap on private use.

"It’s going to be very expensive and unavoidable and it’s obviously impacting budgets across the EFL,” Sparks told the Sunday People.

"There is a suggestion within the game that we could move kick-off times, in the winter months, to 1pm on a Saturday and that’s something we would consider.

"Floodlights are expensive to run and when you add that up over the best part of 20-30 home games, the costs are heavy – and that’s only one area of energy demand.