Oldham Athletic v Bristol Rovers Match Preview

Match Preview League One 

By Simon Gray

After winning their first home league match in midweek Oldham Athletic entertain 10th place Bristol Rovers at SportsDirect.com Park.

The Latics who sit 21st in the league beat top of the table Scunthorpe 2-0 on Tuesday night and manager Steve Robinson said that he was delighted with the performance.

“Scunthorpe have run away with the league so far, they are four points clear and are a really good side but for us to take three points off them, we are delighted,” he told the club’s website.

“We took a little time to settle but when we did we broke through their press and I thought we had undoubted quality for over 60 minutes of the game.

“We have played better than that and not won games but we genuinely believe in the dressing room and amongst the coaching staff that we could get something tonight and we did.”

“It’s been a noose around our neck to get the first win at home in the league so it was good to get it against a team like Scunthorpe United.

“Our performance against Bolton was good for 80% of the game, as was Gillingham and Fleetwood, but there is a lot of belief.

“Luck is a massive part of this game and we haven’t quite had it but it takes time for the understanding of the players to come across.”

Bristol Rovers go into the game having gained an astonishing point away at MK Dons in midweek, in a match that featured a Matty Taylor hat trick and an exquisite back heel through ball from Chelsea loanee Charlie Colkett.

Rovers found themselves 3-1 down to the Dons with three minutes to go but two goals in two minutes from Taylor ensured that they would be heading back to Bristol with a point.

Manager Darrell Clarke made five changes from the side that beat Gillingham 2-1 in the previous fixture and has insisted that no player is guaranteed a starting spot.

“No one is a shoo in to be fair to you,” Clarke told the Bristol Post.

“A lot has been said about the team and how I work on things – but that’s for everyone else to digest”

“I respect everyone’s opinion and people do things in a different way but if we win the game and I make three or four changes then not a lot is said.

“If we haven’t won and I makes changes then I guess it makes for more chatter on the forums.”

Darrell Clarke has no new injury concerns and also has Jermaine Easter back in contention for a place in the match day squad after serving a three-match ban.

Oldham will probably be without Lee Croft again tomorrow after a back injury suffered in training kept him out of the win over Scunthorpe but there could be a return for Ryan McLaughlin, who also didn’t feature in midweek due to a similar injury.

Stats

Rovers have come from behind to claim points in each of their previous nine matches.

Oldham are the lowest scorers in the league this season scoring just nine times.

Rovers go into the game having not kept a clean sheet in the league all season.

21, Bristol Rovers fan for as long as i can remember. Highlight has to be to 06/07 Play Off win. Seen Rovers at 40/92 clubs in England and counting.

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