Southend United v Bristol Rovers Match Preview

Rovers players crowd around the referee on their last visit to Roots Hall.

Rovers players crowd around the referee on their last visit to Roots Hall.

By Simon Gray

Bristol Rovers will be hoping to bounce back from their home defeat to Bolton this weekend as they head to Roots Hall, the home of Southend United.

The Gas lost 2-1 on Wednesday and after a gutsy second half display, manager Darrell Clarke will be hoping his side can add to their three points from the opening three games.

Clarke, spoke of his side’s opening three league games and insists his side are yet to be over-awed by any of the sides.

“The players can never be questioned in terms of application and desire and we are working hard to eradicate the sort of silly mistakes that have led to a few of the goals we have conceded,” Clarke told the Bristol Post.

“As you go up the leagues the bar rises and you tend to get punished more often when you make a mistake.

“The lines between winning and losing games become finer and that means you have to be on top of your game more consistently.

“We certainly haven’t been over-awed by anything we have seen so far and we have been in all of the games.

“I think we will continue to do that and I believe we will improve as the season progresses.”

After picking up one point from two matches, Southend provided a shock result on Tuesday night as they went to Bramall Lane and beat Sheffield United 3-0 and manager Phil Brown said that the result was up there with his biggest for the Blues.

“This is definitely up there with any victory I’ve had as manager of the football club,” Brown told the Basildon, Canvey and Southend Echo.

“With the pressure that was on us coming into the game it’s a huge victory and hopefully we’ve alleviated that pressure now.

“I want us to go into Saturday’s game against Bristol Rovers with renewed confidence.”

Nile Ranger is Brown’s only fresh injury concern after being ruled out for up to six weeks with an ankle injury.

Rovers remain fully fit but Jake Gosling is unavailable after completing a six-month loan deal to League Two side Cambridge United.


Although in separate divisions, these two sides met last season in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy. The Blues won 1-0 that night.

Rovers have not beaten Southend in 5 matches and have not won at Roots Hall since 2008.

Southend defender Adam Barrett spent two years at Rovers between 2002 and 2004, scoring five goals in 90 appearances.


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