‘Job done’ - Joey Barton delivers this verdict on Bristol Rovers win at Cambridge
How Joey Barton saw Bristol Rovers’ 2-1 win over Cambridge United
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Joey Barton was pleased with the character that Bristol Rovers showed as they came from behind to defeat Cambridge United 2-1 at the Abbey Stadium. The Gas were in League One action on FA Cup weekend, and moved closer towards the play-off spots in a reduced fixture-list.
Sam Smith opened the scoring for the hosts, but Aaron Collins and Josh Coburn sublimed once more, with the on-loan Middlesbrough striker scoring his ninth goal of the season. The soon to be out-of-contract Scott Sinclair then put Rovers in front with his fourth goal of his second spell.
"It's disappointing, but you have to give the opponent credit," said Barton in his assessment to BBC Radio Bristol. "It was a great run from the lad, a good ball into the box and a hell of a header. Sometimes you have to take your hat off and say that was good play.
"For me, it was key in how we responded. We're just capable of goals, we've got loads of goals in the team, you can see the assisters when you have got Finley, Coutts, Sinclair. Luca Hoole what a ball he has put in for Scotty's goal.
"I thought they scored too early, they don't know how to win games in recent memory. Sometimes you get in front and you're 'Oh s**t, we don't know what to do from here. If they score in the last five minutes it's different you can hang on to it. I felt they scored a little early, and then the character of our team is on show."
Rovers' two goals came in an eight-minute spell with Coburn scoring in the 21st minute and Sinclair following it up a minute shy of the half-hour mark. It was an efficient performance from Rovers, who hit the target four times from their four attempts, creating two goals from them. They dominated possession with 60% to Cambridge's 40 percent, and completed 447 passes to their 289.
What pleased Barton was how Rovers were relatively unchallenged for the majority of the second-half, as well as the manner in how Sinclair scored his goal. Coburn set Luca Hoole down the line and the Wales Under-21 international was able to pick out the former Celtic winger unmarked to curl home his effort.
"I thought we managed the second-half superbly," admitted Barton. "We had the job done, it was about keeping the back door bolted, I thought barring the free-kick at the end, I didn't feel like they were going to trouble Belly.
"It's a great team move. The lads trust each other on the ball and play through the press of Cambridge. When Luca get in there he has still got a bit to do, pick Scotty out, it has a bit of a bobble and it's a hell of a finish. It's why he was Player of the Year in Scotland, and why we're so happy to have him in our team."