Bristol Rovers v Peterborough United Match Preview

Match Preview League One

By Simon Gray

Bristol Rovers will be hoping to finish their October unbeaten as they entertain 10th place Peterborough United at the Memorial Stadium.

Rovers have won three and drawn one of their four league games so far this month and have only lost one of their six home league games this season.

The fixture sees a return to Rovers for Peterborough right back Michael Smith. Smith played 114 times for the Gas and was in the side that was relegated to the Conference in 2014 and Rovers manager Darrell Clarke has gone on record saying how different the future may have been if Smith had been fit for the final few games of that season.

“Michael deserves a good reception on his return because he was one of the players who gave everything in that relegation squad,” Clarke told the Bristol Post.

“He was also such a great lad with it and I can’t speak highly enough of him. His performances in that season deserved more than to be part of a side that was relegated.

“I don’t hold any grudges against Michael Smith and I believe that we’d have stayed up if he had stayed fit in the last four or five games of the season.”

Smith left the Memorial Stadium that summer for Peterborough and has since gone on to represent Northern Ireland.

Peterborough go into the game having had an inconsistent start to season, winning, drawing and losing five games of their 15 and manager Grant McCann feels that injuries to his side may have affected recent form.

“We seem to have picked up niggles here, there and everywhere just lately and it’s so frustrating not being able to get the same team on the pitch every week,” McCann told the Peterborough Telegraph.

“That’s not an excuse because there are some very capable players in the squad who can come in and do a job but it is difficult and we are going to be up and down until we find that consistency.

“We are all trying our best and it’s important we stick to our beliefs and our plans and the boys are all buying into it.”

Team news for Rovers is that Ellis Harrison and Ollie Clarke are both available after suspension and Will Puddy has returned from his loan spell at Braintree after suffering an injury.

Peterborough should have striker Shaquille Coulthirst back from injury but the match may come too soon for midfielder Michael Bostwick.

 Stats

Bristol Rovers forward Luke James is on a season long loan from Peterborough.

The last match at the Memorial Stadium came in 2011 where it finished 2-2.

Rovers’ last win over Peterborough came in 2007 where Stuart Campbell scored a 90th minute free kick for a 3-2 win.

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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