Bristol Rovers v Charlton Athletic Match Preview
By Simon Gray
Bristol Rovers face another managerless side in Charlton Athletic this week at the Memorial Stadium.
Rovers drew 0-0 with MK Dons in their last match, a side who had recently sacked Karl Robinson and face a recently relegated Charlton side two years to the day that they drew 2-2 away at Chester in the Vanarama Conference.
Assistant boss Marcus Stewart has said that the players should be proud of what they’ve accomplished in a very short space of time.
“It’s great. The club is in a good place at the moment competing with a number of clubs who have Premier League pedigree”, Stewart told the Bristol Post.
“There are some massive clubs in this division and that we are playing them just shows how far we have come in the last couple of years.
“We have brought along with us players from the non-league who are still improving; the likes of Stuart Sinclair, Daniel Leadbitter and James Clarke.
“The club was in a similar position when I first came through here as a youngster some 20 years ago. It was good times then and I think the feel-good factor is back. We just want to keep riding the crest of the wave and see how far we can take it.”
Charlton visit the South West also without a manager after Russell Slade became the seventh boss in two years to lose his job at the Valley.
Caretaker boss Kevin Nugent will take charge of the Addicks and he has said that the Charlton job is a lot more attractive now than it was before Slade took over in the summer as the former Leyton Orient, Yeovil and Cardiff manager ‘did a lot of the dirty work’.
“A lot of the reshuffling and dirty work has been done”, Nugent told LondonNewsOnline.
“People may have had doubts but now it is a great job to get for someone.
“There are really good training facilities, the recruitment has been fantastic.
“We’ve got a good group of characters in the dressing room. I enjoy working with them every single day.”
Team news for Rovers is that Matty Taylor will avoid a one match suspension even though he has picked up five yellow cards this season. This is due to one of these yellows being given in the Checkatrade Trophy. Billy Bodin and James Clarke continue their recovery from injury and could be named in the matchday squad.
Charlton will be without Chris Solly after it was revealed that he will be out for up to four months with a knee injury. Nicky Ajose is set to lead the line for the Addicks after scoring in Saturday’s win over Port Vale.
The last time these two sides met was in April 2011 where a 2-2 draw was not enough to help keep Rovers in League One as they suffered relegation to League Two in the following match.
Rovers midfielder Chris Lines played in that fixture at the Memorial Stadium as Charlton were reduced to nine men before a late Gavin Williams strike rescued a point for the Gas.
Rovers have only beaten Charlton once in their last six encounters, coming in the form of a 2-1 win in February 2010.