Bristol Rovers v Bury Match Preview

Match Preview League One

By Simon Gray

Bristol Rovers hope to bounce back from their surprise FA Cup exit to Barrow as they entertain Bury at the Memorial Stadium.

Rovers lost at home to a non-league side for the second time in successive seasons and have now only won once in their last eight matches in all competitions.

After the match, manager Darrell Clarke told BBC Points West: “It might be coming to the end of the road for one or two if they don’t start improving.

“We have to invest in the team now, I think.

“It’s come to the stage now where this group’s done very, very well but if we’ve got ambition to get into the Championship in the next two or three years we have to move it forward and invest wisely in the team.

“I know the areas where I need to strengthen now – it’s not rocket science.”

Rovers fans will be sweating on the fitness of striker Matty Taylor after he missed the FA Cup defeat with a calf strain. Clarke may make sufficient changes as he tries to end his side’s winless run.

Bury go into the game having lost 10 league games in a row and are winless in 14 games in all competitions. They will also be hoping to rekindle their early season form this weekend.

The Shakers were second after 10 games and had 20 points but after their winless run they now sit just above the League One relegation zone with the same points total.

Caretaker manager Chris Brass, who took over from the sacked David Flitcroft three games ago has been given until the end of the season.

The 41-year-old is keen to ensure that his team do not match a 15 game winless run that was set in 1946.

Brass is struggling for defensive options and may hand a start to 16 year old Jacob Bedeau as Leon Barnett is a doubt with a calf strain and both Antony Kay Niall Maher will be missing through suspension.

“We do have a patched up squad but moving forwards we have to make sure we don’t keep giving away cheap yellow cards and fouls,” Brass told the Bury Times.

“The Christmas schedule is hectic so we need our best 18 players fit and everybody available.

“I know we have lost players through suspension and injuries, which has really hindered results throughout the season.

Stats

Rovers have only lost once in their last five meetings with Bury and are unbeaten against them in four home matches.

Rovers’ last match with Bury ended in a 2-1 defeat in 2014. A match where 5 of this season’s squad played with the addition of unused sub Ellis Harrison.

Bury boast a better record against Rovers, but only just, winning 17 games in comparison to Rovers’ 16.

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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