Bristol Rovers v Northampton Town Match Preview

By Simon Gray

Bristol Rovers will be hoping to bounce back from their 4-1 thrashing away at Charlton last time out as they entertain 16th place Northampton Town this weekend.

Rovers went to the Valley having picked up two wins from two over the Christmas period but suffered a defeat to start the new year.

Rovers manager Darrell Clarke told the club’s website: “I’m looking for a reaction following Monday’s defeat, we need to put in a good performance in front of our home supporters.

“Northampton obviously won the league last season in League Two, but we have managed to get six points ahead of them this campaign so far, which is good.

“For me, the teams that were promoted to League One last season have more than held their own this season and we expect a tough game on Saturday.”

Northampton manager Rob Page has also said that his side need to bounce back from defeat, after beating Oxford on Boxing Day, the Cobblers have sunk to consecutive defeats at Sheffield United and Bradford City.

“Bristol Rovers have done okay and I think they’ve settled into the season. They are on the back of a heavy defeat so they will be looking to put that right but we can only focus on what we do”, Page told the club’s website.

“We need to get at them and we are looking to bounce back from our defeat.

“I was bitterly disappointed with our second half performance on Monday, our ball retention wasn’t good enough and I can totally understand the frustration of the fans.

Bristol Rovers go into the game needing to make changes after centre back Peter Hartley picked up a foot injury against Charlton that could keep him out for three months. They will also be without Charlie Colkett, who returned to his parent club Chelsea.

Northampton go into the game without Lawson D’Ath, who completed his move to Luton Town this week. They will however have new signing Hiram Boateng available, Boateng spent the first half of the season at Rovers before going back to Crystal Palace.

Stats

The last time the two sides met was at Sixfields came last season where a Charlie Colkett stoppage time goal secured a 3-2 Rovers win.

Six points and six places separate the two sides in the League One table, Rovers are 10th with 36 points. Northampton are 16th with 30 points.

In a weekend that sees only five League One fixtures, Rovers can go within a point of the Play Off places with a 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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