PREVIEW: Bristol Rovers vs Cheltenham Town
BRISTOL Rovers defender Adam Virgo believes former Celtic team-mate Derek Riordan could become a Memorial Stadium sensation if he can rediscover the form that made him one of the top marksmen in Scotland.
Ex-Celtic pair Virgo, pictured, and Riordan were reunited again last week after Rovers boss Mark McGhee completed a surprise move to offer the three-times capped Scotland international a short-term deal to "resurrect" his career.
A Hibernian legend after scoring 90 goals in just over 200 games in eight seasons at his home-town club, which was spread across two spells, Riordan found opportunities limited during a two-year spell at Celtic.
Virgo, however, who was at Parkhead at the same time, said: "Am I surprised that we have managed to get a player of Derek's quality on board? Yes and no.
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"The manager we have is fairly high-profile and I think the fact they are both Scottish has helped the deal in a way.
"Derek is the type who maybe just needs an arm around the shoulder and for a manager to believe in him again.
"This move is a great opportunity for him to come and make a name for himself in England. Once you have played for the Old Firm, there is not really much else for Derek to aim for up in Scotland.
"If he can get his head right, I'm certain he will go on and score a lot of goals for us because his SPL record speaks for itself.
"Derek will need games and fitness, but his ability is outstanding. If we can get him fit and firing, he will be a brilliant signing for us."
Riordan played out a low-key debut at Exeter City on Saturday as part of a Rovers side that secured their first victory of the season.
"The training ground is always a happier place on a Monday morning after a win," said Virgo."It wasn't our best display of the season, but we did what we had to in order to grind out the result.
"We've played better in other games and haven't got the results, so it has been a case of fine margins for us this season.
"We've had the Wycombe result that was chalked off and we also should have won the game at Barnet.
"The Fleetwood goalkeeper probably had the best game of his life when we played them the other week, so we could be sitting pretty with six or so more points than we have."
Rovers will be aiming to add a further six points and a maiden Memorial Stadium victory of the campaign before the end of this week with Cheltenham arriving in Bristol tonight before Northampton visit on Saturday.
"It would be great to give the fans a couple of decent results at home to celebrate this week," said Virgo.
"They have been great with us all season. We know they expect us to win every game and, unfortunately, we haven't been able to do that, but they've always remained fully behind us."
Virgo, meanwhile, is expected to retain his place in the starting line-up tonight to make what will be his tenth appearance after returning from a serious knee injury.
"I don't think people realise the effect a serious injury can have on you as a player," he said.
"It's not as easy as just coming back in and picking up from where you left off.
"I feel my performances getting better game-by-game, but I have a lot to do to get back to somewhere near my best."
Follow reporter Jon Palmer from 7pm for chat, debate, team news updates and reaction from the Memorial Stadium: