Bristol Rovers boss John Ward warns against complacency ahead of Barnet clash
Bristol Rovers boss John Ward has warned his players against complacency ahead of their biggest game of the season so far.
Ward's in-form side entertain a fellow relegation-threatened side in the shape of Barnet at the Memorial Stadium on Friday night (7.45pm) and will be looking to boost their survival prospects by claiming a third victory on the bounce.
Rovers will start favourites to win the game following impressive away day successes at both Fleetwood Town and Rotherham, but Ward warned: "We have to guard against the risk of any sort of complacency creeping in, because Barnet are a team who are playing very well themselves at the moment.
"We had them watched in the game they lost at Burton on Saturday and all the reports we've had have suggested that they were the better side on the day.
"We must maintain the same mentality going in to every game regardless of whether we are playing a promotion-chasing team in the top six or faced with a game at home against one in the bottom six.
"The game against Barnet will be totally different to the last two we have won at Fleetwood and Rotherham and is probably a bigger game in many ways.
"We are the home team and the expectation will be for us to go out and win the game, so it may be tougher in some respects."
Rovers, meanwhile, could lift themselves out of the relegation zone for the first time since Ward arrived at the club if they could secure a victory.
"We've had a good run over the last five games, but we're still in the same position as we were when I arrived here five or six weeks ago," Ward said.
"It just goes to show how competitive it is around that area at the bottom of the table. It will take a massive effort to get out of the bottom two and then another big push to make sure we stay out of it.
"The attitude and approach the players have shown to win the last two games has been excellent, but they can't live on past performances. They must keep performing to a good level on a consistent basis.
"I told the boys in the changing room at Rotherham to enjoy the feeling of another fantastic victory for a couple of days, but we were back in on Monday and what happened on Saturday has already been forgotten. That's the way it has to be for the next 20 games or so."