John Ward delighted as Bristol Rovers end long wait for a victory
JOHN Ward watched his new-look side end Bristol Rovers' two-month wait for a victory and then admitted a physical striker is high on his list of January transfer targets.
First-half goals from Joe Anyinsah and Matthew Lund were enough to hand Rovers all three points from a 2-1 win against West Country rivals Plymouth Argyle, who sacked their manager Carl Fletcher minutes after the final whistle.
It was Rovers' first victory since a 3-2 success over Chesterfield on November 6 and was achieved with a side containing debutants Steve Mildenhall, John-Joe O'Toole and Tom Hitchcock after the trio had loan deals officially sanctioned by the Football League on the morning of the game.
Ward has pledged to continue his January rebuilding job over the coming weeks, but confirmed a target-man type of striker was at the forefront of his thoughts following Tom Eaves' return to parent club Bolton Wanderers.
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: Sunday, June 30 2013
The manager said: "I don't think it is right to have too many loan players so we're looking around for people who maybe going out of contract.
"The problem for us is that January is an awkward time to be doing that sort of business.
"I'm limited in what I can bring in, but I am working hard to do what I can.
"At the moment, we are playing with three in midfield to give ourselves that bit of a security. We've still scored four goals in the last two games, but a striker with a bit of a physical presence would be helpful to us.
"I have to say, though, I thought Tom was terrific for us on his own up front today because he is the sort that likes to play off of a bigger centre forward."
Ward admitted his priorities may change if he is unable to extend the loans of goalscorer Lund – on loan from Stoke – and Leicester defender Cian Bolger.
Both players return to their parent clubs tomorrow to discuss their futures, and Ward added: "I have to go to work on that on Wednesday.
"I'd like to get both of them back, but that decision is out of my hands."
Rovers remained in the bottom two, despite winning for the first time after seven previous attempts, but closed the gap on some of the teams above them ahead of the visit of Gillingham to the Memorial Stadium on Saturday.
"It was a great game and result for both the players and supporters," said Ward, who was taking charge of his first game at the Memorial Stadium since succeeding Mark McGhee last month. "There were a few scary moments, but it all came together in the end.
"I asked the players to play in the way the supporters would expect them to.
"I wanted them to pull the shirt on and give it their all and I think the supporters saw that everybody worked hard to get a result and that is why it is a good day for us.
"It is a step in the right direction. It's a big thing for the team to get a win after so long.
"It is three more points on the board and will give the boys a bit of confidence before we take on the league leaders (Gillingham) here on Saturday.
"It's another massive challenge for us, and we'll try to give them a game as well."