Joey Barton rules out key Bristol Rovers player for Wycombe clash as injuries stack up

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The Gas host the Chairboys at the Mem, but one player isn’t in contention to play

Joey Barton has revealed the state of play regarding Sam Finley and Paul Coutts’ absence from the Bristol Rovers squad ahead of their League One clash with Wycombe Wanderers.

The midfielders both missed out on Saturday’s win over Forest Green Rovers, with Finley gone through illness and Coutts a knee injury. Finley was a surprise absentee whilst club captain Coutts has been out of consideration for the last fortnight.

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Barton said: “Sam’s been ill so we’ll find out today and see where he is. You miss a player of Sam’s impact in the team and Couttsy [Paul] is struggling with his knee so we’ll have to see how that settles down.”

The Rovers skipper has missed four of his side’s last six games in the midst of their upturn in form, however has often been seen in the dugout alongside Barton’s coaching team - however the Gas boss doesn’t think his captain will be available for the Wycombe game.

“It still hasn’t really responded to the injections as well as we would have hoped, I think he’s going to be out for Tuesday’s game, hopefully Sam’s feeling a bit better but as of yesterday and this morning I don’t think he was feeling great so we’ll monitor that.”

“It’ll be nice to have them back but if not, as the lads have shown today we’ve got a good enough squad to cause Wycombe problems.”

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The game was originally scheduled in January, in the middle of the Gas’ bad form that saw them drop down the League One table, but now Barton’s side seem to have steadied themselves and look on course for a mid table finish. Saturday’s win makes it two wins from their last three, and they welcome Matt Bloomfield’s new side to the Memorial Stadium later today.

“It’s a great test for us, they’re always going to make it tough for you but from our perspective it’s a challenge we have to overcome.

“We’ve got the added benefit of winning a couple of games and putting in some good performances recently and now we look forward to the game and getting back in front of our fans for the next two games, but also getting back to winning ways at the mem which is important to us.”

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