Mark McGhee: Early goal would ease pressure for Bristol Rovers
MARK McGhee is under no illusions his Bristol Rovers players will be under pressure until they break their Memorial Stadium duck.
Rovers will attempt to score their first goal of the season in front of their own fans at the fourth time of asking when Aldershot are the visitors tomorrow.
McGhee was left to question whether some of his players were able to handle the pressure of performing in front of their own supporters following last weekend’s 3-0 defeat against Morecambe – but said yesterday: “If we can get our first goal at the Memorial Stadium on Saturday, I’m sure we will build from there.
“Of course, until we do score, we’ll be under pressure, but that is something we have to live with and we just have to get on with it.
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“It would be good if we scored early. I wouldn’t use the word important, but an early goal would be good for confidence and the boys would thrive off that.
“If you don’t score goals and win games you’re going to get stick from the fans, whichever club you play for.
“The players have to big enough to take that on the chin and get on with it.”
The manager reiterated how pleased he had been at the response his players had offered to the Morecambe defeat with an improved display against Yeovil in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy on Tuesday night.
“The quality of the possession, the energy and the movement the players produced was pleasing,” said McGhee. “I have no complaints, other than we failed to produce an end product.
“What we have been working hard on this week is turning that possession and good play into chances.
“We haven’t scored in three games so far, but that isn’t a concern for me yet. I think we showed at Wycombe that we have goals in the team if we can reproduce what we did that day.”
McGhee warned that his players and supporters may need to be patient. He said: “Some teams will come to the Memorial Stadium and be difficult to break down like Morecambe were.
“Even if we can’t find a way through, we should still be drawing those sorts of games 0-0.
“It is a case of being patient in our approach and that is where the fans can be a help to us.
“I think we have to accept we are going to go behind in games at certain times during the season and it is very important we don’t panic.”
Striker Matt Harrold is expected to return to an otherwise unchanged squad after recovering from a minor hamstring complaint.