Sam Finley tips former Everton midfielder to get 10-15 goals for Bristol Rovers

There is a belief that one of Bristol Rovers’ players will find his shooting boots

Sam Finley says that the best is yet to come from his Bristol Rovers teammate Antony Evans this season.

Evans was a pivotal figure for the Gas last season and played an instrumental role in helping them get promoted from League Two at the first time of asking.

The former Everton midfielder made 22 goal contributions last season in various roles with the team built to accommodate him for a period before the arrival of Elliot Anderson, which took the main responsibilities away from him.

After signing a three-year contract extension in the summer, he is yet to hit his top form of last season, registering a goal and assist in the nine matches he’s played in League One so far.

He hit the post last week in the 6-3 defeat to Lincoln City and has shown glimpses and from that, Finley believes his teammate will be a major influence once more in the team, tipping him to get into double figures.

He said: “Antony Evans is still going to come good and hit form, you seen him hit the post at the weekend with a free-kick.

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“I fully believe Antony Evans is going to pop up with 10-15 goals this season still. Going forward isn’t an issue for us.

“Aaron Collins has gone on unbelievable form, Lofty (Ryan) has hit form at a good time and We’ve got John Marquis to come into that.”

News of a contract extension was made public this week after penning new terms last week, signing on the dotted line before the match with Ipswich Town.

He has penned a new deal that keeps him in Bristol until the end of the 2023/24 season and he claims it was an easy decision with the direction the club is heading in.

A season of consolidation has been the talk from Barton and his players but the overall long-term aims and ambitions for the club is to take them to the Championship.

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Building a new stadium remains to be a consistent talking point amongst the fan base and promotion to the second tier would certainly make the case to excel the process.

“The gaffers expectations of the club and where he thinks he can take it, I am fully behind him on that,” he said. This season may be with the budgets of the other teams and the gaffer has spoken about it in the press.

“We’re not gonna be competing with the top end teams budget wise, but we can eventually compete on the pitch with them this season. It’s a consolidation season because you’ve seen a slow start last season and then we kicked on after January and got promoted.

“I’m sure everyone would agree with me on how good the owner has done for the football club. “I think we can progress and go as far as he wants to come with the football club. With the manager, staff, and infrastructure, I can’t see why the club can’t get to the Championship.”

“We can eventually get to the Championship with the backing of the owner. I think the owner has been brilliant since he has come to the club.

He added: “Long before I was here, I’m sure Frosty (Sam) and other people have seen the state was in before the owner come in. I never saw it as much as I had never been to Bristol before I moved here but I love it now.

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“You only have to look at the other side of the city, Bristol City, and how they are doing. Bristol hasn’t got a hotbed for football, maybe not for local lads but you see the hotbed in the fan base. You see the fan base and there are talks of a new ground getting built.

“If this club was on the up and the top end of League One pushing for promotion and got to the Championship, I’m sure they would sell a 20,000 seater out. It just proves what a hotbed it is.

“There is only Alfie (Kilgour) I know that has come through from local lads. A hotbed players wise maybe not as much as Liverpool, Manchester, and London but fan base wise it is massively up there.”