Bristol Rovers v Swindon Town Match Preview

By Simon Gray

Bristol Rovers entertain local rivals Swindon Town at the Memorial Stadium this weekend looking to bounce back from consecutive away defeats.

The Gas lost 3-1 to both Fleetwood Town and Walsall respectively but have acquired a new signing since the defeat at the Bescot with defender Johnny Burn arriving from Middlesbrough on a permanent deal.

Burn joins defender’s Joe Partington and Ryan Sweeney as well as goalkeeper Joe Lumley as January signing number four for Darrell Clarke’s side.

Another defender signing brings competition for Rovers’ backline and after mistakes led to all three Walsall goals last weekend, manager Clarke insists that they will turn a corner.

“We keep making silly individual mistakes and that is what is costing us away from home,” Clarke told the Bristol Post.

“What I do have is massive belief in the players to start eradicating them from our game.

“We’re not getting pummelled by any stretch of the imagination. We are having plenty of the ball in these games and we are creating a good amount of chances at the other end of the pitch.

“We are getting punished for every single mistake and that lads have to show the strength and character I know they have got to bounce back from that.”

Swindon go into the game having won just once in their last nine in all competitions. That win for Town however was in their last away game, against third place Bolton at the Macron Stadium.

Unlike Darrell Clarke who has been quoted to prefer long-term signings this month, Swindon Head Coach Luke Williams has not ruled out on adding more short-term signings but anymore loan players would mean that a loanee would miss out each week due to Swindon already having their full quota of loan players allowed.

“I understand exactly why fans would prefer to see us sign a player permanently,” he told the Swindon Advertiser.

“I think it is probably a case of us getting the right player and if we can’t get a player here permanently who is the one who fits the bill, then I think we’d probably go down the loan market to get that player in.

“It is more important that we put the strongest team on the pitch week in, week out, that we possibly can at this moment, rather than looking for a more permanent view.

“If the right one is available who can be permanent, brilliant. If not, we need to use the loan market.”

Team news for Rovers is that they have both Ryan Sweeney and Jonathan Burn available but Jake Clarke-Salter is still out after suffering a setback in his recovery from the fractured arm he suffered back in November.

Swindon have Jon Obika and Brad Barry missing but Anton Rodgers may be fit despite injury his chest in midweek.


Swindon’s Chelsea loanee Charlie Colkett made 15 league appearances for Rovers earlier this season, scoring three goals.

Swindon have only won once in their seven trips to the Memorial Stadium.

The last meeting between the two sides came at the County Ground earlier this season. After playing 60 minutes the match was abandoned with the score at 0-0 due to adverse weather conditions. The rearranged match ended with Rovers scoring two goals in a minute to win the match 2-1.

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