Bristol Rovers v Blackpool Match Preview  

By Simon Gray

Bristol Rovers entertain Blackpool this weekend without club captain Tom Lockyer, who picked up a straight red card last time out.

Lockyer became Rovers’ third player to receive a straight red in the last four matches after professionally fouling Donovan Wilson in the Carabao Cup defeat at Wolves in midweek and assistant manager Marcus Stewart has been discussing the effects a red card has on a team.

“Tom’s is a red, Ryan’s is as well I suppose, he’s the last man. Sam’s was debatable but they’re red cards aren’t they. So it’s not unlucky,” Stewart told the Bristol Post.

“Red cards put you on the back foot; there is no doubt about that.”

“Even though we got a win after the red card against Walsall, you can’t expect to win away to Wigan with 10 men.

“With Tom’s there wasn’t much time left in the game, we had to push men forward and he ended up one v one. It is what it is.

“We start a game with 11 men on Saturday and we’ll try to keep 11 men on the pitch.

“It’s not the aim to get anyone sent off then try to win the game, it’s just the way it’s been going recently.”

Rovers have Ryan Sweeney returning from his suspension to replace Lockyer, meaning Tom Broadbent is likely to retain his place in the team. Defender Danny Leadbitter limped off during extra time at Wolves and is a doubt for the match but midfielder Stuart Sinclair is back in contention after a month out.

Blackpool go into the game having had a successful start to life back in League One.

The Tangerines were relegated in the season that Rovers were promoted to the third tier but bounced straight back up via the play offs last season and are now in fifth place after losing just one of their opening eight matches but manager Gary Bowyer has insisted that the match this weekend will be a stern test for his side.

“It is a tough game, I went and watched them the other night and they ran Wolves real close,” Bowyer told the club’s website.

“They’ve got a threat going forward with the front three and how they can change positions, they all provide something different.

“They’re a good team, they’ve had two promotions very quickly since going out of the league and coming back in and going up.

“They’re a strong team so we are aware of the challenge that lies ahead but it’s one we’re looking forward to and we’ve got to go there with the confidence of how we are playing at the moment.”

Blackpool are without Jim McAlister, Mark Cullen, and Armand Gnanduillet for the match as all three continue to make progress on the injury front.


Rovers goalkeeper Sam Slocombe spent last season at Blackpool and before signing for Rovers, Slocombe was part of the play off winning side.

This will be the 33rd meeting between the two sides but the first in 17 years. Rovers have won 11 times, Blackpool have won 13 with there being eight draws.

Rovers beat Blackpool 3-0 on the final day of the 1989-1990 season to be crowned Champions of the then League Division Three.

One Response to “Bristol Rovers v Blackpool Match Preview  

  • paul alexander
    1 year ago

    Nice 3 points for The Gas & now not a million miles from the play offs. This is a very different and capable squad and one showing plenty of character.

    The future is bright!

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