PREVIEW: Bristol Rovers vs Rotherham
JOE Anyinsah has faced a barrage for questions from Bristol Rovers team-mates since John Ward was appointed manager.
The 28-year-old attacker, pictured right, is the only member of the Pirates squad to have worked with the new boss before, having spent three months on loan at Carlisle United during Ward's spell in charge there.
"The gaffer signed me from Preston and it was a really good period in my career," recalled Anyinsah. "Carlisle were going well and I made quite a decent impact when I went there.
"In the time that I worked with John Ward, training was always good and enjoyable. He is very thorough and hands-on, doing most of the coaching himself.
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"He likes to get his point across so he will spend a lot of time talking to the lads. You get to know exactly what he expects from you.
"While he is a very nice guy, there are times when he can lose his rag and he is not afraid to take a strong line with players when he thinks it is necessary. In general though, he is a gentleman."
As a former striker himself, Ward has much to pass on to forward players like Anyinsah, who is looking forward to improving his own game in the months ahead.
More importantly, the player who was a schoolboy at Bristol City during Ward's spell as manager at Ashton Gate in the late 1990s, expects the 61-year-old to have an immediate impact.
"When a new manager comes in players are always upbeat at the first training session, trying to impress him," said Anyinsah.
"That's how it was with us when the gaffer took us for the first time. The tempo of the session was terrific and he was so positive that it has carried on from there. We can't guarantee the fans a result against Rotherham.
"But we can assure them that we will go out there and give it everything we have got. That is what the manager has told us he expects.
"Speaking to the other lads, we all feel responsible for what happened to Mark McGhee. We didn't perform well enough under him and he was the one who suffered.
"He is a nice man and a good manager. In football these things happen and it's a cliché, but you have to move on as quickly as possible.
"When the lads have asked me about our new boss, I have told them in all honesty that I only expect good things with him in charge."
Ward said his final message to the players before they take the field against Rotherham will be along the lines of "Go out and give it your best shot. That's what Bristol Rovers' supporters expect.
"I can't tell them we are going to win, but the players know their responsibilities and will not go short on effort," he added.
"Fans who imagine themselves wearing the shirt always believe they would give 110 per cent and that's what I expect of the players.
"They are all professionals and understand exactly what is required."