Bristol Rovers fan's view with Dennis Payter
I UNDERSTAND there are some who don't look at the table, but I do, isn't that what league football is all about?
When we have won I can't wait to see where Rovers are especially over the last month.
It was typical that after our great performances lately against the promotion-chasing sides that we should come unstuck at unfashionable Chesterfield (I noticed they were below halfway in the table).
John Ward quite rightly made no excuses for Rovers' poor showing which seemed to just deteriorate after an Eliot Richards shot came back off the inside of the post.
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But we can't win them all and Chesterfield is the only team in the bottom half of that table we have lost against since Ward took over. We only dropped two places because of an inferior goal difference.
It is incredible to see that even after Saturday there is a five-point gap to the next team below us. We could not have dreamed of being in that position back at Christmas when my festive season was ruined every time I looked at that table.
Rovers turned in another great performance last Wednesday against Exeter following the win over Burton. I was a bit disappointed in both of those promotion-chasing sides as I thought Barnet had looked just as good as both of them. Isn't the table not supposed to lie?
Ryan Brunt and Richards always looked threatening against Exeter and our defence was once again miserly as Jamie Cureton and his mates hardly got a look in. Ward has pointed out his contract is only until the end of the season. I'm sure something will soon be sorted out on that front as I can't imagine the chairman wanting the nightmare of looking for another manager. The futures of Steve Mildenhall and Mark McChrystal must also be sorted out quickly or they will be snapped up by other clubs after the way they have performed for Rovers.
It is to Ward's credit that he got these two on board as they have surprisingly played very little football over the last two seasons and had probably slipped under the radar of a lot of people.
Mildenhall is on loan from Millwall until the end of the season, which is also when his contract ends at The Den. It is hard to believe the reliable goalkeeper had played less than 20 games in the last two years before joining Rovers and nine of those were on loan at Scunthorpe. McChrystal is on a short-term contract with Rovers, so will also be without a club at the end of the season. His only games in the recent past had been three loan games, again with Scunthorpe. We must sign both of them if we are to do anything next year (I have taken a look at the table and I'm sure we'll be safe this season).