Bristol Rovers boss John Ward says players are flourishing in Memorial Stadium atmosphere
John Ward says the Bristol Rovers players seem to have finally banished the Memorial Stadium fear factor that characterised the early part of their season.
Rovers took seven attempts to secure their first Memorial Stadium victory of the season during a time when some of the players appeared to be struggling under the weight of expectation as Mark McGhee’s side made an under-whelming start to the campaign.
The arrival of Ward in December, however, has served to galvanise the squad and has sparked an improvement in form that has seen a feel-good factor return to the club in recent months.
Rovers return to action in front of their own fans against Exeter City ton Wednesday night on the back of what was a resounding 3-0 success over promotion-chasing Burton Albion at the Memorial Stadium on Saturday.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Ward said: “It’s a home-team friendly place at the moment. The crowd are very much behind the team and the team are very much behind the supporters.
“The players have really enjoyed the atmosphere and it has played a major part in generating a feel-good factor around the place.
“Some of the guys who have come in recently, the likes of Mark McChrystal and Steve Mildenhall, were surprised by the level of support we have been getting considering the position we were in.
“Even when we have gone behind in games there hasn’t been any disappointment, only encouragement. There has been very much a feel of togetherness and that has been very important for us.”
Ward welcomes Fabian Broghammer back into the squad following a three-game absence because of a hamstring injury. Joe Anyinsah is a doubt, however, after being withdrawn during the first-half of Saturday’s game with a similar problem.
“We’ll have to have a good look at him,” said Ward. “It is a little bit doubtful that he will play on Wednesday, but it is not a major problem.”
Ward, meanwhile, could decide to hand youngster Ellis Harrison another start following an impressive performance on what was his first start at the Memorial Stadium on Saturday.
“I’ve noticed good things in Ellis ever since I got here,” said Ward. “He’s done well for me any time I’ve felt the need to use him and he had another good game on Saturday.
“It was the first time he started a game at the Memorial Stadium, but that sort of thing doesn’t faze him. The thing for me to find out now is whether he can do it in five or six games on the trot. I worked with Robbie Keane some years ago at Wolves and he certainly could do that.
“Others need to be taken back out and managed very carefully. I’ll have a look at Ellis in training and then make a decision as to whether he can do that for us.
“I’m really delighted about what I have seen from him so far, and the first thing I have to decide is whether or not I can play him again on Wednesday.”