Fans need to be won over again, insists McGhee
MARK McGhee will send his players on a mission to win back the hearts and minds of Bristol Rovers supporters at the Memorial Stadium this evening.
McGhee questioned whether "one or two" of his players were struggling to come to terms with the pressure of having to perform in front of an expectant Rovers support following Saturday's disappointing 3-0 defeat at the hands of Morecambe.
Rovers will return to the Memorial Stadium tonight in a bid to win their first home game of the season at the third attempt when Yeovil are the visitors in the a Johnstone's Paint Trophy first-round clash.
McGhee said: "We should have no fears about playing at the Memorial Stadium because we won a lot of games here at the tail-end of last season.
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"We were very poor in the second half on Saturday and deserved every bit of stick that we got. We have to overcome that and win the supporters back.
"It (criticism) is not something that surprises me.
"The majority of supporters at the game on Saturday will have only have seen us play when we lost at home to Oxford on the opening day of the season.
"We've played well in games at Barnet and Wycombe since then, but as much as some of the supporters will have heard about how well we did, they wouldn't have seen it.
"Criticism is something we have to live with when we play poorly and it is up to us to do something positive to get people back on our side.
"They've seen two games here so far this season where there was nothing to be positive about.
"If we start winning games here again it will become a great place to play.
"I'm hoping that by Saturday night we'll be back on the rails and be looking forward to the next time we come back here to play."
McGhee and the players were at the Memorial Stadium yesterday morning before training to watch DVDs from the Wycombe game in which they produced an encouraging performance.
"We went through what went wrong on Saturday by watching the second half straight after the game," said McGhee.
"On Monday morning we switched it around and watched some of the positives that came out of Saturday's game as well as all the good stuff we did at Wycombe to remind ourselves that we are not that bad.
"It's the start of the season and we're still fitting things together.
"I have the squad I want and one that I believe in and we now have to stand up and be counted."
Rovers reached the final of the competition in 2007 – the last one held in Cardiff before the opening of the re-built Wembley Stadium – but have enjoyed limited progress since.
The Pirates have exited at the first hurdle in four of the last five years, but McGhee said: "You want to win the games with as little fuss as possible, but, make no mistake about it, the further you get the more and more everybody wants to be in the final.
"From that point of view, I think it is a fantastic competition in that it gives every club and every player a realistic chance of getting to Wembley."