Bristol Rovers v Bolton Wanderers Match Preview

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By Simon Gray

It’s newly promoted Bristol Rovers against recently relegated Bolton Wanderers on match day three of the EFL League One season.

The Gas go into the game on the back of a 2-1 win over fellow promoted side Oxford United to extend their wonderful home run to 15 wins from their previous 16 matches including 10 wins from 10, equalling a club record.

Darrell Clarke recently spoke of equalling that 81 year record speaking of how proud he was.

“It is something for the players and everyone associated with the club to be proud of,” Clarke told The Bristol Post.

“The record was set in 1935 and that it hasn’t been broken in the last 80 years or so shows that to equal it is a good achievement.

“You don’t get any extra points for breaking records but they are something extra that you can use to motivate the players.

“It has been a pleasing block of games because the lads have often had to come from behind to win or had to bounce back from setbacks in certain games.

“When I started out as manager here I think that the team had failed to win when they had gone behind in something like 70-odd games.”

The Trotters go into the fixture on the back of a 2-1 away win against another newly promoted side in AFC Wimbledon and thus ending a horrible run that saw them not win away from home in 495 days.

Phil Parkinson, Bolton’s new manager has talked about what helped his side end that awful run.

“We had a meeting in the hotel the night before to go through the requirements we felt were needed to win this game,” he told The Bolton News.

“Then we asked the players what they felt we needed to do to win an away game – and one of the things they said was ‘no excuses’.”

“We needed everyone to stand up and be counted. And you could feel the relief once the final whistle sounded through all the supporters and the players.”

Bolton are one of the early season pace setters with two wins from two and sit in second place behind Gillingham. Rovers on the other hand sit in mid table after one win and one defeat.

As far as team news goes, Darrell Clarke has no new injury worries but is expected to make changes once again after the five against Oxford. Both Max Clayton and Zach Clough are set to return for Phil Parkinson’s Bolton side however midfielder Darren Pratley is still out with a broken leg.

Stats

The last fixture between these two sides came back in 1990 where a 1-1 draw was played out in the old Division Three.

This will be the 30th time these two sides meet, Rovers have 10 wins, Bolton have 11 wins and there have been eight draws.

Bolton had not won back-to-back games at the start of a league season since 2001 until Saturday’s match.

21, Bristol Rovers fan for as long as i can remember. Highlight has to be to 06/07 Play Off win. Seen Rovers at 43/92 clubs in England and counting.

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