Bristol Rovers v Plymouth Argyle Match Preview

By Simon Gray

Bristol Rovers face a third recently promoted side in a week as Plymouth Argyle visit the Memorial Stadium.

Rovers defeated Blackpool 3-1 last weekend before falling flat at Fratton Park away at Portsmouth, losing 3-0 but manager Darrell Clarke has spoken of his side’s credentials and how his players are at the moment mentally.

“The players are in good spirits – and they’re a confident bunch,” Clarke told the Bristol Post.

“They’re an honest bunch and I know that. There is not anyone in there kidding themselves.

“My expectations will always be sky high and the expectations are always up there. I don’t change how I go about my business. I’m a great believer in what I do and how to get the best out of a group.

“When you’re on bad runs you just work on things – there will be no panicking here.”

“It will be a tough game against Plymouth,” Clarke said. “Derek Adams has done a fantastic job there and they are another side who haven’t started bright – but they will pick up.”

Rovers could have Rory Gaffney and Byron Moore available after the pair missed Tuesday’s defeat through injury and illness but James Clarke and Johnny Burn are still out.

Plymouth go into the game having had a difficult start back in the third tier.

Argyle have won just one of their opening 10 league games and are the joint lowest scorers in the division with just six goals but manager Derek Adams has insisted that there is more to come from his side.

“We are where we are at this moment in time. It’s where you are at the 46-game mark that matters,” Adams told the Plymouth Herald.

“I remember my first season in the Premier League in Scotland when we (Ross County) got promoted, we were sitting in 11th position around about the 28-game mark.

“We finished fifth in the league and just a win off the European places. It turns around so quickly when you get a run together.

“In this day and age people want instant fixes and sometimes that’s not possible.”

“We have got a plan in place. We have got promoted and we are looking to stay in the league.

Plymouth will be without Sonny Bradley who serves the second of his three-game ban. Goalkeeper Luke McCormick has an ankle injury and will miss the fixture meaning Kyle Letheren will continue in goal.

Lionel Ainsworth and Jake Jervis are both doubts for the match but Aaron Taylor-Sinclair is set to return.

Stats

Plymouth have received four red cards this season, while Rovers have had three so far.

Plymouth striker Nathan Blissett was part of the Rovers side that secured promotion from the National League in 2015.

Rovers have lost just one of their last seven meetings against Argyle.

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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