Pleased’ - What Joey Barton said about Bristol Rovers thrashing of Swindon
The Gas manager was pleased with his sides performance but also spoke of improvement
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The Gas scored three goals without reply in the second period after the Robins had two players dismissed in the first-half. Ciaran Brennan was shown two yellow cards for two fouls in quick succession whilst Ricky Aguiar was dismissed for a late foul on Alfie Kilgour.
Despite the two-man numerical advantage, it wasn’t until the hour mark that the deadlock was broken. Ryan Loft was introduced for Jerry Lawrence at the break and was an inspired substitution as he opened the scoring with an impressive lob.
Harry Anderson doubled their advantage after a well-taken strike that he unleashed from the far-side with the goalkeeper unable to stop it. Seven minutes from time Luke McCormick scored his first goal in front of the Memorial Stadium crowd for the first-time with a smart finish.
Barton said in his post-match press conference: “I thought it was a really good finish from Lofty. He looks like a striker full of confidence.
“I didn’t know he had that in the repertoire, that little dink. I’m really pleased for him. It was good for Harry to get a great finish.
“I thought it was a really good strike and the keeper has got no chance at it. It’s nice for Macca to get a goal and it will go some way towards settling him down a little bit.”
Swindon despite being down two men carved several opportunities in the match and posed the better of the opportunities. Louis Reed almost opened the scoring in the first minute whilst Anssi Jaakkola had to save from Morgan Roberts after the defence was opened up.
Pressure would have been put on Rovers to deliver a result and progress after Swindon’s two dismissals. They ended the half having only registered one shot on target which was a tame header from Luca Hoole.
Words were exchanged in the dressing room as to how to approach a team with two less players. Despite the victory, the manager stated that some players could have delivered better performances, with many improving in the second period.
Barton said: “We said to the lads at half-time, we’re just smoothing our own work and rushing it a little bit because they’ve had a man sent off. We said about controlling the ball and methodically breaking down a team that has a numerical disadvantage.
“It means passing the ball and switching play, pulling them to one side, going across and playing out from goal kicks. I’m pleased with the clean sheet and I’m pleased with lots of elements from the second-half. The lads had really good finishes for the goals. In the first-half there were a lot of lads there who can definitely play at a higher level than that.