'Finish strongly' - Matt Taylor's rallied cry ahead of Bristol Rovers' season finale at Wigan Athletic

Matt TaylorMatt Taylor
Matt Taylor
The Rovers boss wants his team to hit the 60-point mark in League One this weekend.

Bristol Rovers boss Matt Taylor wants a strong finish from the Gas, when his side visit Wigan Athletic this weekend.

The 42-year-old believes Rovers will give it their all as the League One season comes to a close on Saturday. “In terms of going into the end of this schedule and this season, we want to finish this season strongly,” said Taylor. “We want to try and get to that 60-point mark, we want to finish above our opponents at the weekend. Obviously it has been a tough few months, so much inconsistency, turbulent in terms of just the way it has gone results wise as well as the way the club has been.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I think there is generally been this hangover feeling, or this headache in the back of everyone's minds about what's to come at the end of the season and uncertainty and I think we have seen that with our performances with the players with everything associated with this club and probably fans alike. But then when the end of one season is here, it is how quickly the focus will turn to next season, but I want all of the focus going into Wigan at the weekend.”

The Rovers boss eluded to the fact that Gasheads deserve a good end of season send off, as supporters have travelled up and down the country all season supporting Taylor and his players. “That's always our aim, we are a bit hindered at the moment, a bit limited in terms of where that good comes from and what that good looks like. I was actually really pleased with the second-half performance against Peterborough, such a strong team, we took the game to them, we had the best chances, we should have really got level in that game and then you never know, it's the balance. But then to concede a second so late on, just that feel of how that home game ended was a real shame. Going away from home to a team in relatively good form, they have had ups and downs themselves this season, it would be great to finish on a positive note.”

Of course, Wigan have had their fair share of their own problems this campaign and the former Premier League side couldn't have got off to a worser start, as they received an eight-point deduction by the EFL. Taylor was asked how well he thought Shaun Maloney and his side had coped despite those issues. “Incredible, a difficult season off the field as much as on it and they have probably had that inconsistency. But they are a young, vibrant team and one where in the last couple weeks, they have just sort of found a little bit of form and energy in the right places so it will be a real good test.

“But it is the last one and I think our bench and our options for some of our young players within the football club will show where we're moving towards, not just in terms of this game, but in the future, but also where we are in terms of bare bones and probably close to double figures in senior players unavailable, that's not just this game, that's been a constant throughout. We will be a little bit weaker in certain parts, we have certainly got no recognised centre forward on the pitch at the moment, so we have got to find a different way to being successful, like I said I liked our second-half performance against Peterborough, against a good team, but then you need a goal or something in terms of the points return to show for it.”

Saturday’s opponents sit in 13th in the League One table and a win for the Gas would leapfrog the Latics.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.