Ryan Loft’s continued Bristol Rovers absence explained by Joey Barton

Bristol Rovers had to do without their forward Ryan Loft for the fourth consecutive game.

Ryan Loft did not make his return for Bristol Rovers after he felt 'sore' admitted manager Joey Barton. Loft had trained all week and it was anticipated that he would make his Gas return after missing the last several matches through injury.

The 25-year-old has been suffering with a hamstring problem which had kept him out of Rovers' last three matches. He started against Sheffield Wednesday but complained of an issue and was later substituted at Hillsborough.

Loft has become an important figure for Rovers this season and has earned 10 starts in League One, playing 19 games in total. He has found the back of the net six times and has also got two assists to his name this season.

"He trained with us at the back end of this week and just felt a bit sore after training yesterday," revealed Barton to BBC Radio Bristol in his pre-match interview. "

"We’ve got a big few weeks coming up in cup competitions and the league, so he’s going to miss one but he’s right back in the fold, hopefully for Wednesday or next Sunday in the FA Cup."

In his absence, Barton chose to play Aaron Collins and on-loan Middlesbrough striker Josh Coburn up front. Summer signing John Marquis was named amongst the substitutes after returning from knee ligament damage. Harvey Saunders was another attacking option that Barton was able to call upon.

Rovers have a double game week next week which will be the next opportunity for Loft to make his return. Rovers' next match is against Colchester United at the JobServe Community Stadium in the Round of 32 on the EFL Trophy this coming Wednesday (November 23). The Gas then host National League outfit Boreham Wood at the Mem on Sunday, November 27 after the match was chosen for television coverage by BBC Sport.